Attitude and flexibility are the most important work place factors for working parents' mental wellbeing, stress, and work engagement.

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Aims: The need to combine active employment and parenthood is a reality for many parents today. Knowing more about which work place factors are associated with better or worse health could help employers to form a work environment that provides optimal conditions to maintain or increase health and work engagement in this group. The aim of this study was to explore possible associations between different subjective and objective work factors and benefits, and a range of outcome variables such as stress, symptom report, wellbeing, work-related fatigue, work engagement, and work-family conflict among working mothers and fathers with small children. Methods: Cross-sectional analyses of associations between work place factors categorised into three different dimensions; flexibility, benefits, and attitude and the outcome measures were performed, including questionnaire responses from 1562 working parents. Results: The results showed that work place factors related to flexibility and, especially among women, attitude to parenthood appear to have the strongest effect on working parents' subjective stress and wellbeing, while benefits appear to have less impact. Except regarding factors related to attitudes at the work place, most associations were similar among men and women. Conclusions: Most likely, different factors are better suited or more important for some individuals than others depending on their total work, as well as family situation and also depending on individual factors such as personality and priorities. A positive attitude towards parenthood and a flexible work situation seem, however, beneficial for the general wellbeing and work engagement among working parents.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-705
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch

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