The Health Consequences of “Good Breadwinner” and “Good Parent” Work-Family Strategies for Three Cohorts of Men and Women
Kristen W. Springer, Rutgers University
Deborah Carr, Rutgers University
We investigate whether four work-family strategies affect the physical health of adult men and women; and explore the extent to which these patterns vary for three cohorts: Silent Generation (born 1931-1943); Baby Boom (born 1944-1959); and Baby Bust (born 1960-1970). We consider three strategies that are consistent with the “good parent” ideal (stopping work, reducing work hours, or taking a flexible job to have more time with children) and one strategy that is consistent with the “good breadwinner” ideal (working longer hours to provide for children). Analyses are based on data from the 1995 and 2005 waves of the Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) survey. Baby Bust men who make sacrifices consistent with the “involved parent” ideal have an elevated risk of high blood pressure. This finding likely reflects their life course stage, where young men are currently grappling with the competing demands of work and family.