264293 Interplay of parental employment patterns and child maltreatment

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 12:30 PM - 12:50 PM

Wen-Jui Han, MSW, PhD , Professor - New York University Silver School of Social Work, New York University, New York, NY
Chien-Chung Huang, PhD , School of Social Work, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Margaret Williams , Silver School of Social Work, New York University, New York, NY
This study examines how the likelihood of child maltreatment may vary by parental work schedules. Previous research has shown a link between family resources and material hardship to parenting quality and rates of maltreatment (Berger, 2004; 2005). Another line of research shows that parents are constrained by work demands (e.g. work schedules) that compromises their ability to address children's needs. Working nonstandard hours means parents need to make child care, meal, and sleep arrangements for those hours. This is a challenge for low-income and single-parent families. Child protection services (CPS) investigations are sometimes due to young children being left home alone without supervision during after-school or evening hours when their parents are at work. Low-income and low-educated parents and racial/ethnic minority groups are more likely to work evening or night shifts, and are at greater risk of poverty which is positively associated with the likelihood maltreatment, especially neglect. The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing (FFCW) longitudinal dataset is used for the analyses. FFCW follows a birth cohort of 3,675 children born to unwed parents and 1,125 children born to married parents from 20 U.S. cities in 15 states from 1998 up to nine years. Results suggest an association between nonstandard work hours and greater risk for child neglect. We also examine how parental work schedules and child maltreatment may vary by contexts such as family socioeconomic status and family structure. Study highlights the importance for the social service agencies attuned to challenges faced by parents due to nonstandard work schedules.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identification of risk factors for child neglect based on parental resources and work schedules. 2. Development of parental resource profile based on material and parenting resources. 3. Development of child maltreatment risk profiles based on different measures of neglect.

Keywords: Child Neglect, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Wen-Jui Han; Professor at NYU-SSSW with expertise in Social Policy with attention to children and families and Poverty and Inequality. Published extensively in the area of parental employment. Chien-Chung Huang; Associate professor at Rutgers University with expertise in Social policy with attention to children and families. Published extensively in the area of child support enforcement. Besa Bauta; Child maltreatment program evaluator. Previous APHA presentations: Link between Family Violence and Child Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.