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Members of families spend most of their waking hours working, including working for pay in the economy and doing the unpaid work of daily family life. Work, particularly paid work, affects many aspects of human experience, including not only the well-being and development of individual workers, but also workers' relationships with their spouses, children, social networks and communities. Research in HDFS focuses on the intersection of work and family life, with particular attention to factors that make it easier and more difficult for workers to successfully fulfill their responsibilities at work and at home.

The Military Family Research Institute was created in 2000 with funding from the Department of Defense. The institute conducts basic and applied research on the quality of life of military families and its implications for job satisfaction, performance, and retention.

Faculty Research

  • Blake Jones
    Parents spend a significant amount of their lives in the workplace. Just as personal and family life can affect one’s performance in the workplace, paid work can influence personal and family outcomes in the home. Dr. Jones examines how parent and child obesity, sleep, health, and well-being are impacted by work schedules, workplace flexibility, dual-earner couples, and how parents balance work and family life.
  • Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth
    Other than home, the workplace is the setting where adults spend most of their time. Work conditions influence many aspects of family life, and Dr. MacDermid Wadsworth's research focuses on how challenges and opportunities at work are linked to individual and family well-being. In recent years, this research has been conducted in both military and civilian settings.