Examining the daily interweave of fathers' work and home experiences
AuthorMcDonald, Daniel A.
AdvisorAlmeida, David M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe basic premise of the present research is that fathering may be best understood as a process through which men demonstrate care and support for their children on a day-to-day basis over time. Work and family roles for fathers are no longer viewed as occupying separate spheres, but rather these roles are seen as integrating in a complex weave. Work may enhance the family role for men by allowing them to fulfill their obligations and provide for their families. Work may also interfere with fathering to the extent that work stressors disrupt fathering activities. One way to examine the work-family interweave is to study the day-to-day connections of fathers' work and family experiences. The present study explores a transformation process, whereby daily work experiences, such as work cutbacks, are differentially predictive of fathering experiences at home. Using a daily experiences paradigm, this study combines both stable and dynamic characteristics of fathers' work and home settings to study how work and family are interwoven. Data for these analyses are from the National Study of Daily Experiences: one of the studies that is part of the National Survey of Midlife in the United States (MIDUS). The sample consisted of 1031 randomly selected respondents and 452 twin respondents from the MIDUS study who completed a short telephone interview on each of 8 consecutive evenings. The present analyses used a subsample of the MIDUS sample consisting of 290 fathers who had children age 20 or younger living in the household. Findings from the within-father HLM analyses provide some evidence supporting the transformation of fathers' work and home experiences. On days fathers experienced a cutback at work, they were two to two-and-a-half times more likely to be involved in a child-related stressor or provide emotional support (respectively) to their children than on days they do not have a cutback at work. Also, the findings indicate that work environments appear to make a difference in men's parenting experiences. Workplace characteristics such as control over the work situation, supportive work environments, and job discretion, moderate the relationship between work experiences and fathering behaviors.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Family Studies and Human Development