Resourceful parents and their work-life balance?

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Nanna Raunsø
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
Abstract Background Parents of children with disabilities cannot be defined homogeneously. However, several examples indicate that a specific group of these parents are defined as being particularly resourceful (Moesby-Jensen, 2014). This group of parents are often described by their peers as being employed, having longer education, good economic and good social resources. This group of parents are therefore at risk of not getting the correct help and support they need from the authorities. This unofficial definition of parents as being resourceful can be an important factor in the parents’ process of creating a Work-life balance. The different demands of the labor market and the extra caregiving that parents of children with disabilities often do not harmonize with a regular job. The flexible labor market might require that the parents are available in weekends and holidays, which might make an impact of having a satisfying Work-life balance (Andersen, 2010). Parents of children with disabilities are also at risk of experiencing an impact on their psychological health such as stress and depression (Brown & Clark, 2017). Some of these parents are at high risk of losing their job or having to finding a new job. This is a frequent observation because of the difficulties of taking care of their child and having a job without the possibilities of getting the right kind of support in their daily living. Method The thesis is constructed as a qualitative study, based on seven individual interviews with parents of children with neuropsychiatric disorders described as resourceful. The parents are from all among Denmark and represented by six women and one man. The data is analyzed through a definition of resourceful parents by Cecilie K. Moesby-Jensen definition in her study from 2014 (Moesby-Jensen, 2014). The resources of the parents are also analyzed from a perspective taking its place in Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of capital (Järvinen M. , Pierre Bourdieu, 2013). The Work-life perspective is analyzed from Robert Sennet theory about the flexible labor market and Ariel Hochild theory about time as an impact of Work-life balance (Sennett, 1999)& (Hochschild, 2003). In the perspective of how the parents defines the meaning of their work is Axel Honneth theory of recognition (Honnet, 2006). Results The study found that parents who were defined as a resource of children with neuropsychiatric disorders experienced difficulties of maintain their Work-life balance. The parents were challenged in their possibilities of taking care of their children with disabilities and at the same time providing their work task. Furthermore, the analysis indicated that the parents ‘self-evaluation was not comparable to how the public authorities defined the resources of the parents. The parent’s resources were far less than expected, the reason being their difficulties in obtaining their capital from the economic capital to e.g. the social capital where most of their needs are. The results indicate that the parents don’t get the support there are asking for and furthermore not are informed about their possibilities at getting support of loss of earnings.
Publication date25 May 2020
ID: 332927479