15th May, 2012
Thirty-five per cent of 10 and 11-year-old Australians believe their father works too much while 27 per cent believe their mother works too much, according to new research.
The Australian Institute of Family Studies data also shows that 23 per cent of mothers felt work made family time less enjoyable and more pressured compared with 20 per cent of fathers.
Professor Alan Hayes, Institute director, said the research, drawn from The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, showed children are affected by the spill-over of their parent's work-related stress or worry into family time with the data showing that when a parent expressed the feeling that work made family time less fun, their children tended to agree with them.
"Finding a way of meeting the demands of paid work, as well as taking care of children, is difficult for many parents and underlines the need for workplaces to continue to adopt more flexible approaches to allow their employees to manage their family responsibilities," he said.
But researcher Dr Jennifer Baxter said the research also showed that despite the tensions, parents gained benefits from being in paid work including social interaction and job satisfaction and that these benefits flowed through to their children.
"Our research found that among employed parents of children aged 10 to 11 years, 67 per cent of both mothers and fathers said that work had a positive effect on their children." This was increasingly the case as children grew older.
For more and a factsheet, see www.aifs.gov.au.
- DAVID ADAMS