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Chee, Kyong Hee; Conger, Rand D.; & Elder, Glen H., Jr. (2009). Mother's Employment Demands, Work-Family Conflict, and Adolescent Development. International Journal of Sociology of the Family, 35(2), 189-202. PMCID: PMC2949071


This study revisited the old research question of whether or not maternal employment would adversely affect children’s development. We reframed the question by asking how a mother’s temporal employment demands might be linked to child development. We used longitudinal data from a sample of 340 white, lower- to middle-class, dual-earner families living in the rural Midwest of the United States. The data were obtained from questionnaires and videotaped observations, and were informed by the mother, the father, the adolescent child, and a trained observer. As predicted, we found a strong relationship between a mother’s temporal employment demands and work-family conflict, which was significantly associated with her emotional distress. A husband’s egalitarian gender ideology was found to reduce the mother’s emotional distress. Maternal distress was then negatively associated with nurturant and involved parenting, which in turn predicted a reduction in the adolescent child’s emotional and behavioral problems over time.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

International Journal of Sociology of the Family


Chee, Kyong Hee
Conger, Rand D.
Elder, Glen H., Jr.