Bearing the Consequences? Parental Commuting and Children's Well-Being
Christine Borowsky, SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy, University of Bremen
We already know that long-distance commuting can affect the commuter and the relationship to their partner. However, the question arises whether the well-being of commuter’s children might be affected as well. Here, research is still scarce.
This is the first study to focus on the parent-child relationship as key mediator between commuting time and child well-being. It is hypothesised that parental long-distance commuting is negatively connected with the parent-child relationship, which in turn is highly important for the children’s well-being. Using the German Family Panel, a structural equation model is performed to test this hypothesis. Results show that long-distance commuters have a poorer parent-child relationship, and, additionally, the children have a lower well-being. Clear gender differences exist, as all relations apply in particular to mothers. Summarised, children of long-distance commuting mothers are at risk for a poorer well-being. These findings confirm that although commuting is a strategy to combine work and family it may come with costs for the children.
Presented in Poster Session 1