HKS Authors

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Recent scholarship has documented the effects of unstable scheduling practices on worker health and well-being, but there has been less research examining the intergenerational consequences of work schedule instability. This study investigates the relationship between parental exposure to unstable and unpredictable work schedules and child sleep quality. We find evidence of significant and large associations between parental exposure to each of five different types of unstable and unpredictable work scheduling practices and child sleep quality, including sleep duration, variability and daytime sleepiness. We are also able to mediate 35–50% of this relationship with measures of work–life conflict, parental stress and well-being, material hardship, and child behaviour. These findings suggest that the effects of the temporal dimensions of job quality extend beyond workers to their children, with implications for the mechanisms by which social inequality is reproduced and for social policies intended to regulate precarious and unequal employment conditions.


Logan, Allison, and Daniel Schneider. "Parental Exposure to Work Schedule Instability and Child Sleep Quality." Work, Employment and Society (April 28, 2024).