Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The purpose of the current study was to further our understanding of the association between low-income mothers' work-family conflict and their children's socioemotional adjustment, with a particular focus on externalizing and internalizing symptoms. To do so, the present study tested the mediating roles of mothers' psychological distress and positive parenting practices in the relation between work-family conflict and children's adjustment over time. Contrary to hypotheses, the linkage between low-income mothers' experience of conflict between their work and family roles and preschoolers' adjustment was not explained by mothers' symptoms of psychological distress or their use of positive parenting practices. Similarly, the main pathway of interest (i.e., mothers' work-family conflict → psychological distress → parenting practices → children's adjustment) was not supported by the results yielded in this study. However, as hypothesized, the mothers' work-family conflict was significantly related to preschoolers' later externalizing and internalizing symptoms. Moreover, mothers' anxiety symptoms partially explained the association between work-family conflict and preschoolers' subsequent internalizing symptoms, after controlling for a variety of child and family background characteristics. The implications of these results are discussed in relation to modern work-family policies and programs.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.