Family Dynamics and Education

“A man should never neglect his family for business.” –Walt Disney

In 2016, this quote does not only apply to men, but also women. The effect of family structure is extremely important to any child because parents and caregivers are essential to the well-being of a family. Three broad fundamental theories explain the critical parental impact to children….

According to the national data from the White House (2014), the income of employed married women comprised 44 percent of their family’s income in 2013. On the other hand, in 2008, 60 percent of fathers in dual-earner couples reported work-family conflict, compared to 35 percent in 1977. It is clear that many families are now dual-earner couples, in which both parents are breadwinners and caregivers in the family. Both roles are significant in a family, not to mention the different levels of stress in terms of working and nursing. How do parents' work-family conflicts affect their children’s behavior? What are the things that working parents should pay attention to?

Researchers Greenhaus and Powell (2006) defined work family conflict as the competing responsibilities and demands associated with participation in multiple and salient roles. These conflicts may exhaust one’s limited amount of time and energy, undermine one’s physical and psychological well-being, and diminish one’s quality of life within the competing roles. On the other hand, work family enrichment is when experiences in one life role improves the quality of performance and experiences in another life role, either directly or indirectly through its influence on positive affect. In a recent study by Vieira, Matias, Ferreira, Lopez, and Matos (2016), researchers found the parents’ positive (enrichment) and negative (conflict) experiences of work and family are linked to preschool children’s problem behavior.

By examining 317 dual-earners couples with preschool children between 3 to 6 year old, Vieira et al., (2016) administered the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire based on parent and teacher report of children’s emotional problems, peer problems, behavioral problems, hyperactivity, and prosocial behavior. These behaviors are categorized as “internalizing”—unhappy, downhearted, or tearful; and “externalizing”—easily distracted, wandering concentrations, overactivity, or inability to stay still for long.

The results indicated that mothers’ work-family conflict contributed to children’s externalization difficulties through its detrimental association with their ow