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Work and Family

The interconnections between work and family and their health-related consequences are central foci in the Department of Family and Community Medicine’s research program.  Work and family are connected in several ways and each contributes to family member health.  Physical interconnections between work and family such as the transfer of harmful pesticides from work to home on workers’ clothes, skin, and hair affects the development of workers’ children and contributes to health problems for multiple family members.  Psychological interconnections such as preoccupation with work or emotional exhaustion can undermine the health of children and adults alike through poorer attentiveness to children’s needs, unhealthy lifestyle habits, and stress.  Finally, several health conditions are exacerbated by the social interconnections between work and family, such as when parents are unable to miss work to care for sick children or when employment in jobs requiring non-standard shifts interfere with sleep cycles and patterns of physical activity and diet.   Our research seeks to document and quantify the ways by which the interconnections between work and family affect health, with the goal of creating health education, intervention, and policy that protects the health of individuals and families.  This research is exemplified in several completed, ongoing, and proposed research projects including: 

Maternal Work Schedules:Consequences for Parenting and Child Development (NICHD – ongoing)

Weaving Work and Family:Implications for Mother and Child (NICHD – ongoing)

Workplace Flexibility & Employee Health:An Exploratory Study (Alfred P. Sloan Foundation – ongoing)

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Last Updated: 04-13-2017
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