The Importance of an After-Work Smile

Does working parents’ absence affect children’s psyches? Two new studies examine the question from different perspectives. It turns out that early adolescents’ sense of well-being isn’t affected by how much time their parents spend at work, but it is affected by their view of their parents’ moods at the end of the workday, according to research by Sandee Tisdale and Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, of Boston College. The better the perceived mood, the higher the well-being. Another study of this age group, led by C. André Christie-Mizell, of Vanderbilt University, found no link between bullying and parents’ work hours per se—but saw increased bullying by children whose fathers work full-time or more and who feel that their fathers don’t spend enough time with them.

RESEARCH

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