Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort in the United States (N ≈ 10,700), this study examines the relationship between precarious parental work characteristics and families’ poverty status during the early childhood years. We focus on four aspects of parental work—occupational prestige, hourly wages, weekly work hours, and nonstandard work schedules—and three dimensions of familial poverty: poverty depth, volatility in family income, and poverty duration. The longitudinal latent class analysis identified five distinct maternal work profiles and three distinct paternal work profiles. Regression results then suggest that children in families whose mothers and fathers held jobs with precarious work characteristics had significantly higher probabilities of experiencing (1) near-poor conditions or falling into poverty, if not deep poverty; (2) volatility in family income; and (3) longer duration of poverty. Results in this study shed new light on the sensitivity of families’ economic status to the precarious work conditions that have been on the rise in a society increasingly characterized by income inequality.
- Early childhood
- Nonstandard work schedules
- Parental work
- Precarious employment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies