Abstract: (see Poster Gallery) Insecure Parental Employment Conditions and Child Maltreatment: A Scoping Literature Review (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

185P (see Poster Gallery) Insecure Parental Employment Conditions and Child Maltreatment: A Scoping Literature Review

Friday, January 13, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Jihye Lee, MSW, Researcher, Self, Korea, Republic of (South)
Kathryn Maguire-Jack, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Yoonzie Chung, MSW, Doctoral Student, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
Background: Working parents face competing demands from their places of employment as well as their family. Navigating work schedules, childcare schedules, and children’s needs can be difficult. Underemployment and unemployment put additional stressors on parents, who may be struggling economically to meet their children’s basic needs. The current study sought to understand the scope of the current research regarding aspects of employment and child maltreatment.

Methods: To conduct this scoping review, we searched Scopus, Social Science Citation Index, and Google Scholar for studies examining the link between insecure parental job conditions and child maltreatment outcomes. We used the following search terms in varying combinations in conjunction with “child maltreatment”: “parental;” “job loss;” “unemployment;” “non-standard work schedule;” “low-skilled job;” “unemployment;” “underemployment;” and “work(job) stress.” We searched for articles that included these terms within the title, abstract, or keywords. We selected studies that were published between 2000 and 2022, were published in English, and were peer-reviewed articles. The search strategy resulted in 23 unique studies meeting inclusion criteria.

Results: Overall, we found that higher job-related satisfaction, earnings, and hours worked were protective against child maltreatment. However, working non-standard hours, shift work, and evenings were associated with lower quality of parenting and higher rates of maltreatment. Economic hardship and job instability were also associated with higher rates of maltreatment. In addition, single mothers engaged in underemployment or low-skilled job are associated with predictors for child maltreatment in that they are more likely to be easily exposed to vulnerability from economic headship, motherhood, and work stress.

Conclusions/Implications: This scoping literature review found important associations between work and child maltreatment. Parental employment and child protection are goals pursued at the same time in one policy, and it starts with the premise that they are compatible and not mutually exclusive. However, these relationships are complex. In general, it appears that there is a mixed result rather than a consensus on the relationship between parental employment and child abuse. While policy recommendations often suggest that parents should be working to improve outcomes for children, this literature review suggests that this is true for certain types of employment under certain conditions. Parents who are underemployed, working nonstandard hours, and dissatisfied with their work may be at a greater risk of maltreating their children. Therefore, parents' employment type should not be neglected in policy-making or academic research in the current context. The findings suggest that type and quality of work matter for maltreatment prevention.Furthermore, as the types of child maltreatment appear differently depending on the parents' employment type, intervention policies should be approached by predicting which methods will be effective.