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Work matters : how parents' jobs shape children's well-being  Cover Image Book Book

Work matters : how parents' jobs shape children's well-being / Maureen Perry-Jenkins.


"The transition to parenthood is one of the most life-altering and destabilizing life events that adults experience, even those with significant financial and social resources. We commonly hear about dual-career, professional couples coping with the wage penalties associated with new motherhood or a woman's career being derailed on the "mommy track." But we know much less about how low-wage, employed mothers and fathers manage the demands of full-time work and new parenthood, despite the fact that this group makes up the largest portion of working parents in the country. In Work Matters, Maureen Perry-Jenkins examines the workplaces of low-income workers as a critical but often overlooked social setting that shapes family life and child development. Building on years of research and over 1,500 interviews with new mothers, fathers, and their children from the first year of parenthood through six-years postpartum, Perry-Jenkins examines how work conditions help or hinder new parents' abilities to engage as partners and parents, and the consequences for children. She argues that parents' job conditions-workplace policies, hours, and schedules, experiences of autonomy and job pressure, and workplace social supports-directly affect the healthy development of infants and children. She uncovers the job conditions that diminish new parents' ability to care for their infants and highlights the conditions of low-wage work that enhance parenting and child outcomes. In the final chapter of the book, she offers recommendations for parents, employers, and policy makers that benefit all, especially the children"-- Provided by publisher.
"How new parents in low-wage jobs juggle the demands of work and childcare, and the easy ways employers can helpLow-wage workers make up the largest group of employed parents in the United States, yet scant attention has been given to their experiences as new mothers and fathers. Work Matters brings the unique stories of these diverse individuals to light. Drawing on years of research and more than fifteen hundred family interviews, Maureen Perry-Jenkins describes how new parents cope with the demands of infant care while holding down low-wage, full-time jobs, and she considers how managing all of these responsibilities has long-term implications for child development. She examines why some parents and children thrive while others struggle, demonstrates how specific job conditions impact parental engagement and child well-being, and discusses common-sense and affordable ways that employers can provide support.In the United States, federal parental leave policy is unfunded. As a result, many new parents, particularly hourly workers, return to their jobs just weeks after the birth because they cannot afford not to. Not surprisingly, workplace policies that offer parents flexibility and leave time are crucial. But Perry-Jenkins shows that the time parents spend at work also matters. Their day-to-day experiences on the job, such as relationships with supervisors and coworkers, job autonomy, and time pressures, have long-term consequences for parents' mental health, the quality of their parenting, and, ultimately, the health of their children.An overdue look at an important segment of the parenting population, Work Matters proposes ways to reimagine low-wage work to sustain new families and the development of future generations"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780691174693
  • ISBN: 0691174695
  • Physical Description: 248 pages : illustrations (black and white) ; 22 cm
  • Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2022]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
"They Sure Don't Make It Easy for Parents": Low-Income Working Parents and Their Children -- "The Invisible Americans": The Work and Family Transitions Project -- "A Little Can Go a Long Way": Workplace Policies and Parents' Well-Being -- "They Treat Me Right, Then I Do Right by Them": Experiences in Low-Income Jobs and Mental Health -- "This Parenting Thing Is Harder Than It Looks": Low-Income Work and Parenting -- "I Just Want Him to Have a Good Start in Life": Work and Child Development -- "Thriving or Surviving": How to Move Forward.
Subject: Work and family.
Low-income parents.
Working poor > Social conditions.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Marriage & Family.
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Careers / General.
Low-income parents.
Work and family.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Skagit Evergreen Libraries. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Upper Skagit Library District. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Upper Skagit Library.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Upper Skagit Library 306.36 PER 1013756 Nonfiction Available -

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