Ernest W. Burgess Award Address

Concurrent Sessions 10

Maureen Perry-Jenkins, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2018 Burgess Award Recipient

Facilitator: Amy Rauer, Chair, Burgess Award Selection Committee

3:00 PM
4:15 PM
Pacific Salon 1
Session #
Session Type
Special Session
Organized By
  • Research & Theory

About the Session

To Love and to Work: Inside Working-Class Families

Presented by: Maureen Perry-Jenkins, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2018 Burgess Award Recipient

Professor Maureen Perry-Jenkins has garnered national and international recognition for her research focused on the challenges facing working-poor families as they cope with the stress of new parenthood and holding down full-time work. In her time at UMass, Dr. Perry-Jenkins has received over 2 million dollars in funding from the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct her longitudinal research that examines how work conditions and policies affect the well-being of new parents transitioning to parenthood. She has over 70 peer-reviewed publications and chapters and recently completed a year as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford writing a book on the impact of low-wage work on children.

As an indication of her stature in the field, Professor Perry-Jenkins was named a Fellow by the National Council on Family Relations in 2014, an honor given to less than 3% of NCFR members for their “outstanding contributions to family science.” Her research has had a significant impact on social policy related to work-family issues. She recently served on a panel for the Center for Law and Public Policy with Senator Elizabeth Warren to discuss new legislation on workplace schedules of low-income workers; and was invited to Washington DC to address a Federal Committee developing new national level policy on Workplace Flexibility.

She was Program Chair for the 2017 Annual conference of the National Council on Family Relations, the premier family research organization internationally, an honor that recognizes her visibility and leadership in the field of family research. She is also a member of the Conference Planning Committee for the Work and Family Research Network, a new organization aimed at highlighting the cross-disciplinary research on work and family. She serves on the editorial board of the five top family journals, has served on NIH review panels, and served as mentor for junior faculty through the Mellon program and as NIH K-Award Mentor.

Abstract(s) (deprecated)

The goal of this presentation is to examine how job conditions of low-wage workers are related to workers' mental health, their parenting and the developmental outcomes of their children.  Specifically, research is reviewed that indicates that supervisor support in low-wage jobs can buffer the effects of job stress and poor policies.  Data are also presented highlighting the positive and negative ways that both mothers' and fathers' work conditions can impact early child development.   The presentation ends with recommendations for work-family policies that could support new parents. 

Three objectives

  • Objective #1: To review literature on links between low-wage work and new parents mental health
  • Objective #2: To review findings from large NIH grant on how work conditions predict parenting and child outcomes in low-income sample of new parents
  • Objective #3 Discuss implications for work-family policies to support parents juggling work and parenthood
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