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A Psychological Perspective on the Health and Well-Being Consequences of Employment Experiences for Children and Families

Rena Repetti

UCLA Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families
Working Paper No. 33


Psychologists study emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and biological processes. For instance, a psychologist asks questions such as, How do individuals react to employment experiences, and why do they react that way? How do those behavioral and emotional reactions influence other family members and their behavior? These questions lead to an analytic approach: an outcome is no longer a single measurable variable, but a series of steps in a process. This often entails an examination of more minute processes, which consist of small, intermediary consequences. Therefore, the study of intermediary outcomes and short-term effects that can cumulate over time are natural avenues for psychologists to pursue. This chapter shows how a psychological perspective can guide the identification, measurement, and evaluation of the effects that parental employment experiences have on children and families.

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