Until recently little theoretical or empirical attention has focused on the ways in which socially structured experiences in the workplace affect the interactions that occur within families. This review considers the many levels at which family interaction is currently being studied, presents arguments regarding expected relationships between aspects of workplace experiences and spousal and parent-child interaction, and summarizes the relatively small body of empirical research that links occupation and family interaction. It emphasizes the extent to which emotional consequences of work mediate the effect of workplace conditions on family interaction. The chapter reviews evidence suggesting that a variety of workplace conditions—restriction of opportunity to exercise self-direction, work overload, poor quality of interpersonal relations on the job, low opportunity for cooperative problemsolving, job insecurities, job loss, and low earnings—have emotional repercussions that have negative implications for family interaction. It argues that future research can illuminate social influences on family interaction by more fully incorporating observational methods to investigate both workplace and family processes and by more systematically and explicitly bringing the larger occupational and economic context into the emerging analyses of the microstructure of family interaction.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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