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Testing for a Respite effect of work on stress
Journal of Family and Economic Issues (2012)
  • Lisa Morris, University of Southern Maine
Extant research is ambivalent about whether or
not working outside the home provides mothers of children
with special needs a buffer against the stressful effects of
caregiving. The empirical evidence of a respite effect is
based primarily on small, non-probability samples. The
study reported here used a large nationally representative
sample of families from the National Survey of American
Families (NSAF) and analysis that addressed the biasing
effects of simultaneity between the dependent variable
(parent stress) and employment. Results produced are
consistent with a caregiver-specific respite effect from
work, at least among mother caregivers of older children
who were not concerned that working will have negative
effects on their child’s well-being and who worked regular
shifts in higher level occupations.
  • Caregiver stress,
  • Children with special needs,
  • Maternal employment,
  • Spillover effects,
  • Work–family
Publication Date
March, 2012
Citation Information
Lisa Morris. "Testing for a Respite effect of work on stress" Journal of Family and Economic Issues Vol. 33 Iss. 1 (2012) p. 24 - 40
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