Maternal employment, work experiences, and financial well-being of Australian mothers who care for young children with special health care needs

Julie A. Dillon-Wallace*, Sarah H. McDonagh, Loraine A. Fordham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The employment and work experiences of mothers who care for young children with special health care needs is the focus of this study. It addresses a gap in the research literature, by providing an understanding of how mothers’ caring role may affect employment conditions, family life, and financial well-being. Quantitative data are drawn from Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. The current study employs a matched case–control methodology to compare the experiences of a group of 292 mothers whose children (aged 4-5 years) with long-term special health care needs with those mothers whose children were typically developing. There were few differences between the two groups with regard to job characteristics and job quality. There were significant differences between the two groups with regard to work–family balance. Fewer mothers with children with special health care needs reported work having a positive effect on family functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-320
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • mothers
  • employment
  • children with special health care needs

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