Implications of parents’ work travel on youth adjustment

Lorey A. Wheeler, Anisa M. Zvonkovic, Andrea R. Swenson, Caitlin Faas, Shelby Borowski, Ruth Nutting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Guided by ecological, work–family spillover and crossover frameworks, this study examined mechanisms linking parental work travel (i.e. nights per year) to youth adjustment (i.e. externalizing and internalizing behaviours) through youth’s perceptions of parenting (i.e. knowledge, solicitation) with traveller and youth gender as moderators in a sample of 78 children in 44 two-parent families residing in the United States. The findings from multilevel analyses suggested that mothers’ travel nights predicted lower levels of maternal knowledge, with variation by traveller and youth gender. Mothers’ and fathers’ work travel and perceived parenting were predictors of youth’s externalizing behaviours, whereas only fathers’ work travel and perceived parenting were predictors of youth’s internalizing behaviours. Tests of indirect effects indicated that maternal work travel linked to youth’s externalizing behaviours through youth’s perceptions of maternal knowledge. These findings add to our limited understanding of work–family issues for parents who have the unique work demand of frequently travelling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-343
Number of pages18
JournalCommunity, Work and Family
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 27 2018


  • Children’s adjustment
  • multilevel modelling
  • parenting
  • parents’ work travel
  • work and families

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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