Nonstandard work schedules harmful for cohabiting parents

November 12th, 2010 - 5:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Nov 12 (ANI): A study by Michigan State University researchers has found that irregular work schedules appear harmful to the well-being of cohabiting parents.

Compared with married parents, cohabiting parents - who live together but are not married - tend to have lower-paying jobs that may not offer a choice of working a standard 9-5 shift.

Cohabiting parents who work nonstandard shifts tend to experience more conflict between work and family life and feel more depressed and less successful as parents and workers than do their peers who work standard shifts, the study argues.

“Cohabiting parents who work these nonstandard shifts certainly warrant more social attention as their numbers continue to grow,” said Hui Liu, lead investigator on the project.

“They’ve already faced economic and social constraints and may be more susceptible to suffering from recent changes in work schedules,” he said.

Liu said cohabiting parents are less likely than their married counterparts to take care of their partners’ children, pool their income and receive child-care help from family members.

These factors make it harder for cohabiting parents who work nonstandard schedules to balance work and family life, she said.

On the other hand, working irregular shifts may actually benefit married couples who share parenting duties by providing an option for one of them to be available for child care during the day.

The study analyzed the data of more than 2,300 people in the National Study of the Changing Workforce.

The Study appears in the journal Social Science Research. (ANI)

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