Work-family conflict (WFC) has severe negative effects on workers’ health and well-being. This study examined whether parents’ WFC also affects the well-being of their children. It was analyzed whether, and to what extent, maternal WFC is associated with child emotional and behavioral problems, and whether this association is mediated by mothers’ use of harsh parenting practices.
Using data from two waves of the German Family Panel (pairfam) a total of 1781 children and their employed mothers were analyzed using mediation modeling with pooled OLS regressions.
The analyses show that children whose mothers experience higher levels of WFC report higher levels of emotional problems, conduct problems, and hyperactivity. The results also indicate that this association is mediated by mothers’ parenting behavior.
The findings suggest that mothers’ parenting behavior underpins the association between maternal WFC and child behavioral problems: Mothers who experience higher levels of WFC use harsher parenting practices, which negatively affects their children’s well-being.
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S.H. designed the study and analyzed the data. S.H. and M.P.-S. collaborated in writing the manuscript.
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Hess, S., Pollmann-Schult, M. Associations between Mothers’ Work-Family Conflict and Children’s Psychological Well-being: The Mediating Role of Mothers’ Parenting Behavior. J Child Fam Stud 29, 1561–1571 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-019-01669-1
- Work-family conflict
- Child emotional problems
- Child behavioral problems
- Parenting behavior
- Mediation analysis