Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 123–147

Parental Job Experiences and Children's Well-Being: The Case of Two-Parent and Single-Mother Working-Class Families

  • Maureen Perry-Jenkins
  • Sally Gillman

DOI: 10.1023/A:1009473918629

Cite this article as:
Perry-Jenkins, M. & Gillman, S. Journal of Family and Economic Issues (2000) 21: 123. doi:10.1023/A:1009473918629


The aim of this study is to examine how two types of working-class families, two-parent and single-mother, serve as distinct contexts within which the connections between parental employment and child well-being may differ. Data from 50 dual-earner families and 52 employed single-mother families were obtained through in-home interviews. Parents provided assessments of their work experiences and ratings of their psychological well-being, and their school-age children completed questionnaires concerning their psychological well-being. In dual-earner families, results revealed that fathers' positive work experiences were related to daughters' positive evaluations of their internalized well-being. For dual-earner mothers, however, more positive work environments were related to daughters' reports of lower well-being. Finally, single mothers' more positive evaluations of their work environments were linked to sons' reports of greater restraint of aggressive tendencies. Further analyses that attempted to examine the role of parental well-being as a mediator of the relationship between job and child well-being yielded few results. The importance of examining work-family processes as they vary by social context and characteristics of the person is discussed.

working class dual-earner single mother work-family children 

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maureen Perry-Jenkins
    • 1
  • Sally Gillman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Massachusetts-AmherstAmherst
  2. 2.Department of Human and Community DevelopmentUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbana

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