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What Does Family-Friendly Really Mean? Wellbeing, Time, and the Quality of Parents' Job


  • Strazdins, L
  • Shipley, M
  • Broom, D H


We present a brief index of parent job quality, classifying jobs by four working conditions: paid parental leave, perceived security, control and fl exible work times. Jobs vary from optimal (with all conditions) to poor (none or one condition), and we describe differences in mothers' and fathers' job quality by education; work hours; and casual, fixed-term or permanent employment. Analyses are based on a large, nationally representative sample of parents with children aged 4-5 years (the Growing Up in Australia study; N=2,164 mothers; 2,614 fathers). Fathers were more likely to have higher quality jobs than mothers, but both had poorer quality jobs if employed casually or part-time. High-quality jobs were associated with better parent wellbeing, a finding replicated in a second, smaller study. Sustaining the wellbeing of working parents should be an aim of family friendliness. The index gives workplaces and government a way to benchmark and evaluate parents' jobs.

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  • Strazdins, L & Shipley, M & Broom, D H, 2007. "What Does Family-Friendly Really Mean? Wellbeing, Time, and the Quality of Parents' Job," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 33(2), pages 202-225.
  • Handle: RePEc:fli:journl:26192
    Note: Strazdins, L., Shipley, M., Broom, D.H. 2007. What Does Family-Friendly Really Mean? Wellbeing, Time, and the Quality of Parents' Job. Australian Bulletin of Labour, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 202-225.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roberts, Anna M. & Pannell, David J. & Doole, Graeme & Vigiak, Olga, 2012. "Agricultural land management strategies to reduce phosphorus loads in the Gippsland Lakes, Australia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 11-22.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joyce P. Jacobsen, 2009. "Accommodating Families," Chapters,in: Labor and Employment Law and Economics, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Cooklin, Amanda R. & Giallo, Rebecca & Strazdins, Lyndall & Martin, Angela & Leach, Liana S. & Nicholson, Jan M., 2015. "What matters for working fathers? Job characteristics, work-family conflict and enrichment, and fathers' postpartum mental health in an Australian cohort," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 214-222.

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