Unpartnered Mothers’ Work-Family Conflict and Parenting Stress: The Moderating Effects of Nonstandard Work Schedules

Woosang Hwang, Eunjoo Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Using the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study dataset, we examined the moderating effects of nonstandard work schedules on the association between work-family conflict and parenting stress among unpartnered mothers 1 year after childbirth. A multiple-group analysis was conducted to examine the interaction between a latent continuous variable (work-family conflict) and observed categorical variables (four types of work schedules: daytime weekday, daytime weekend, nighttime weekday, and nighttime weekend). Results showed that unpartnered mothers’ work-family conflict was positively associated with their parenting stress, regardless of their work schedules. In addition, unpartnered mothers’ nonstandard work schedules moderated the association between work-family conflict and parenting stress. Contrary to our expectations, however, the negative effects of work-family conflict on parenting stress were alleviated in unpartnered mothers who worked nighttime compared to those who worked daytime weekend. This result indicates that working nights can be a strategy by which unpartnered mothers can balance work and family life. Specifically, using informal caregiving support, unpartnered mothers can have a respite from parenting by working nonstandard hours. Implications are discussed in terms of the importance of researchers’ and policymakers’ attention regarding unpartnered mothers’ work and parenting issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Family and Economic Issues
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study
  • Nonstandard work schedules
  • Parenting stress
  • Unpartnered mothers
  • Work-family conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics

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