Motivation for Night Work and Parents’ Work-To-Family Conflict and Life Satisfaction

The Work-Family Interface: Spillover, Complications, and Challenges

ISBN: 978-1-78769-112-4, eISBN: 978-1-78769-111-7

ISSN: 1530-3535

Publication date: 29 October 2018


The author tests the hypothesis that the effects of evening and night employment on working parents’ work-to-family conflict and life satisfaction depend on the reasons that individuals name for their schedules. Regression models are fitted to data from an original sample of 589 employed US parents. Partnered (married and cohabiting) fathers who work partially in the evening or night experience less work-to-family conflict if they report personal motives, but schedule motivation does not affect work-to-family conflict among partnered or single mothers. Partnered mothers who work primarily in the evening or at night report higher life satisfaction if they do so for personal reasons, but this effect is not found for single mothers or partnered fathers. Specifically seeing their schedules as facilitating family care matters for partnered mothers, but not fathers. Although nonstandard employment schedules have been linked to poor well-being among working parents, this is the first quantitative study to assess the role of worker motivation to the author’s knowledge. The results are suggestive because they are based on a nonprobability sample of modest size. However, they demonstrate the need for future studies of employment scheduling to collect information on worker motivations. Most night workers in the United States do not select their shifts for personal reasons, putting them at risk for work-to-family conflict and reduced life satisfaction. They deserve extra support in exchange for laboring while others sleep or spend time with family.




The survey was funded by a book advance to K. J. Dell’Antonia from Avery Publishing, an imprint of the Penguin Group. The author thanks K. J. Dell’Antonia, Dawn Reiss, and Barbara Schneider for their assistance.


Weinshenker, M. (2018), "Motivation for Night Work and Parents’ Work-To-Family Conflict and Life Satisfaction", Blair, S.L. and Obradović, J. (Ed.) The Work-Family Interface: Spillover, Complications, and Challenges (Contemporary Perspectives in Family Research, Vol. 13), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 131-156.

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