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Volume 3 Issue 1 (March 1994), Pages 1-87

Short‐term and long‐term processes linking job stressors to father–child interaction (pages 1-15)

Abstract

This study explores short‐term and long‐term processes through which daily job stressors may affect a father's relationship with his school‐aged child. Fifteen male air traffic controllers (ATCs) described job stressors and parent–child interaction on three consecutive days. Objective measures of daily workload were also obtained. After a demanding day at work, fathers tended to be more behaviorally and emotionally withdrawn during interactions with their children at home. The emotional withdrawal finding was confirmed with both subjective and objective measures of high workload. There was also evidence of a direct spillover of negative feelings associated with distressing social experiences at work to expressions of anger and greater use of discipline during interactions with a child later in the day. The long‐term impact of a chronically stressful work environment was also examined in a separate set of between‐subjects analyses. A generally negative social climate at work was associated with a father's tendency to describe his interactions with a child as having a less positive and a more negative emotional tone. Coworkers' independent ratings of the social climate at work confirmed the finding of a long‐term negative spillover effect.

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