Study Ties Fathers' Long Working Hours to Aggressive Behaviour in Sons

First Posted: Aug 23, 2013 07:24 AM EDT

A longitudinal study claims that fathers' long working hours can be detrimental to their sons' wellbeing.

A new study discovered that a child's behavior is linked to the father's job.

The study conducted by a researcher at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center states that boys whose fathers spend more than 55 hours per week at their work place exhibited aggressive and antisocial behavior compared to children whose fathers spent fewer hours at work place.

The study, led by senior researcher Jianghong Li at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, is based on data of more than 1,400 children that were a part of a cohort study "Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort Study," which has been following children from pregnancy to adulthood. On analyzing the data they found that nearly 19 percent of the Australian fathers spent more than 55 hours at their work place per week when their sons were 5 years of age.  And nearly 20 percent of the Australian fathers worked for more than 55 hours when their kids were 8 years old.

The long working hours of fathers did not affect the girls but were detrimental to their sons as they displayed aggressive behavior later in life. The sons were not affected with the mother's working hours.

The study recommends that work policies should focus on the culture of long working hours that has crawled into several jobs in the new economy. It is reported that a similar study in Germany, done in 2011, showed that nearly 15 percent of the fathers with children aged 3-4 years spent 55 hours or more per week  at work.

The study is published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

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