Balancing Work and Family: Abstract

This resource collection on balancing work and family provides research from the past five years published by NCFR through its journals, the Family Focus section of NCFR Report, CFLE Network, a policy brief, and a recorded conference session. 

Balancing, or integrating, work and family is difficult for many families. This research collection explores multiple families and the difficulties each experience when trying to balance work and family such as increased stress, family-to-work conflict, being time pressured, having fewer supports when children are younger, and more. Difficulties in balancing work and family change by the age of the child, by caregiver, and country examined. Additional information can be found on the challenges of finding work-life balance, creating supportive work environments, parent-child relationships, parent-child mental health, family functioning, resiliency, and more.

A recorded session from the 2016 NCFR conference explores how various factors outside of the number of hours worked impact parenting quality and children’s development. Articles published in NCFR Report: Family Focus and the CFLE Network provide translational research and implications about parental mental health for parents working while caring for children who have disabilities as well as Black fathers facing work constraints.

Overall, research suggests that family-friendly policies can help to mitigate the difficulties families experience with work-family conflict, but other policies may add to the difficulty families experience when balancing family and work. Research suggests that more family-friendly work policies and environments support parents’ mental health and the quality of childcare. NCFR’s policy brief, Alleviating the Stress on Working Families: Promoting Family-Friendly Workplace Policies, provides cost-effective policy recommendations to support working families for policymakers.

This resource collection covers a large breadth and depth of content on balancing work and family and is an excellent tool for students, teachers, and researchers to learn more about this important family topic.

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