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The Impact of Adolescent Work in Family Business on Child–Parent Relationships and Psychological Well-Being


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Previous ecological theory of human development research shows mixed results concerning the impact of adolescent work on psychological and family outcomes. We show the consequences of working in the family firm on adolescents' parental relationships, self-esteem and depression, highlighting the importance of high quality work experiences in the early life course. Weighted regression analysis of longitudinal data from Statistics Canada's National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth shows that those adolescents who work in their family firms on a year round basis report a better relationship with their parents, and better psychological well-being than their non-family firm working counterparts.
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The Impact of Adolescent Work in Family Business on Child-Parent Relationships and
Psychological Well-being
Marjan Houshmand
University of Hawaii
Shidler College of Business
2404 Maile Way, C-502b
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: (808) 956-8720
Marc-David L. Seidel
University of British Columbia
Sauder School of Business
2053 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Phone: (604) 827-5155
Dennis G. Ma
University of British Columbia
Sauder School of Business
2053 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
This research was supported by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of
Canada, the Shidler College of Business, and the Sauder School of Business. It was made possible
through Statistics Canada providing access to the microlevel data through the Research Data Centres
program. The data for this study were accessed at the Inter-University Research Data Centre at the
University of British Columbia, with the kind support of Lee Grenon, Cheryl Chunling Fu, and Wendy
Kei. We would like to thank participants of sessions at the Academy of Management OMT Division, the
European Academy of Management, and the Family Business Center of Hawaii as well as Lisa Cohen,
Henrich Greve, Allison Pearson, Pramodita Sharma, and two anonymous FBR reviewers for helpful
comments and discussions throughout the development of the paper. All mistakes remain the
responsibility of the co-authors.
May 2017: Forthcoming in Family Business Review.
The Impact of Adolescent Work in Family Business on Child-Parent Relationships and
Psychological Well-being
Previous ecological theory of human development research shows mixed results
concerning the impact of adolescent work on psychological and family outcomes. We show the
consequences of working in the family firm on adolescents’ parental relationships, self-esteem
and depression, highlighting the importance of high quality work experiences in the early life
course. Weighted regression analysis of longitudinal data from Statistics Canada’s National
Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth shows that those adolescents who work in their
family firms on a year round basis report a better relationship with their parents, and better
psychological well-being than their non-family firm working counterparts.
Keywords: family firm, adolescents, life course, parent-child relationship, self-esteem
The ecological theory of human development has mixed findings which suggest
adolescent work has both negative and positive impacts on adolescent development (Zimmer-
Gembeck & Mortimer, 2006). The mixed findings may partially be due to the research ignoring
an important source of work context heterogeneity which has theoretical reasons for being quite
different - the family firm. Working in a family firm at a young age, as opposed to a non-family
firm, likely influences adolescent development differently. This is a critical theoretical gap in the
literature as the prevalence of family firms around the globe, including those of developed
countries (Arregle, Hitt, Sirmon, & Very, 2007; La Porta, Lopez-de-Silanes, & Shleifer, 1999),
indicates that a large number of parents have the option of hiring their own children, especially
their own adolescents in their own business.
One important decision these parents make is whether to involve the next generation
early on in the family business. Family legacy has a significant influence on the decision making
process of family firms (Hammond, Pearson & Holt, 2016) such that the choosing and
developing of a successor, while considering parent-child relationship quality, is one of the most
important decisions that family business owners make (Cater & Justis, 2009). Care for the next
generation prompts many family owners to hire their adolescents into the business. In developed
countries, many adolescents end up working in their family firms at a young age. For example,
according to nationally representative data gathered from the Youth in Transition Survey
(Statistics Canada, 2012), 45% of Canadian adolescents who were 15 years old as of December
1999 reported having worked in their family business at one point. An important question thus
emerges about the consequences of working in the family business on adolescents.
With such a high percentage of adolescents in society having worked in a family firm,
and given adolescence is a critical stage in developing one’s identity (Mortimer, Lam, & Lee,
2014; Mortimer, 2003), we must better understand the implications of adolescents working in
their family business on the adolescent's psychological well-being and relationship with parents.
There has been a debate in the family studies literature regarding the impact of general work on
adolescent development and relationships with parents. While some argue this influence is
harmful (Greenberger & Steinberg, 1986) noting that this kind of work may lead to stress and a
lower level of family commitment (Steinberg, Grennberger, Ruggiero, Garduque, & Vaux,
1982), others posit positive outcomes, such as a greater sense of independence (Mortimer &
Shanahan, 1994). Recently the literature has started to recognize the heterogeneity of outcomes
among adolescents on the transition into the working world. Vuolo, Mortimer, and Staff (2014)
recently started to disentangle these trajectories in terms of work identity outcomes categorizing
the outcomes into “successful” and “floundering” based on a variety of characteristics including
work experiences during transitional years. Mortimer and her colleagues (Mortimer, Kim, Staff,
and Vuolo, 2016; Mortimer, 2003) start to introduce psychological outcomes such as self-
efficacy, finding that “high quality” employment is linked to increased self-efficacy during these
transitional years. The impact on broader psychological well-being and the relationship with
parents still needs further disentanglement. Additionally, these studies have been limited to
general business work placements, and the dynamics are likely to differ when working with
family members due to the inherent nature of the business family overlap. Working with family
members is likely to impact the quality of the work experience dramatically, quite possibly
providing higher quality employment experiences overall for adolescents.
The psychological and relationship impacts of adolescent work become more complex
when the work context is the family firm, where familial relationships are particularly affected
due to the overlap of family and work settings. Empirical evidence in general settings suggests
work has a negative influence on parent-adolescent relationships. One key explanation
highlighted in the family studies literature is that working reduces the amount of time
adolescents spend with their families (Ashbourne & Daly, 2010). However, in the context of the
family firm, adolescents are able to spend more time with their parents at work and be exposed to
a unique work environment.
Since the underlying theoretical time overlap assumptions are different in the family
business context, we expect that in the family business context the impact of adolescent work
may be different than suggested in the general work context typically used in the family studies
literature. In other words, working in a family business may be an important source of
heterogeneity in the quality of the work experience. This study is the first of its kind to explore
this important relationship and make a direct comparison between adolescents who work for
non-family firms with those who work in their family business. The specific research question
we explore in this paper centers around the consequences of adolescents working in their family
business. We focus our attention on how working in this context influences adolescent
development and the parent-child relationship differently. Finally, for those children who are
likely to find themselves working in their family-owned firm, we empirically test the best
strategy for improving psychological and family outcomes for adolescents.
We construct the paper as follows. First, drawing upon ecological theories of human
development we briefly theorize about the consequences of an adolescent working along with
their parents on two important outcomes: parent-adolescent relationships and adolescent well-
being. We then use the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), a unique
Canadian longitudinal dataset well suited to shedding light on this question. To ensure the
robustness of our findings, we use different operationalizations of our primary variables of
interest and, due to the mixed definitions of family business in the literature, define a variety of
business family risk sets. Finally, we discuss our findings and the managerial implications for
family firm managers.
The ecological theory of human development (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) helps to understand
the spillover between work and family settings and how experience in one setting influences the
experience in another setting. The theory, specifically, delineates different types of systems that
shape individual development. The lowest level is the micro system in which individuals
function in different settings such as school, family, and work. The micro system is concerned
with how ties developed in these settings shape the individual and ultimately his/her experience.
The next system is the meso system in which the settings found in the micro system are assumed
to interact with each other. Their interactions make it possible for relationships formed in one
setting to influence the individual’s experience in other settings (Bronfenbrenner, 1979).
These settings become more interconnected within the context of family firms. Family
businesses have unique characteristics that entail both family and business life and require more
nuanced theorizing to study (Chua, Chrisman, & Steier, 2003; Gersick, Lansberg, Desjardins, &
Dunn, 1999; Sirmon & Hitt, 2003). They possess distinct traits from non-family firms such as the
influence of family relations on simultaneous roles and shared identity (Tagiuri & Davis, 1996).
This overlap of both roles and identity creates a need to modify broader theory when considering
such contexts.
The decision making process of parents as the owners and managers of family firms to a
significant extent is shaped by their intention and preference in perpetuation of their family
dynasty (e.g. Jaffe & Lane, 2004; Lambrecht, 2005) and keeping family legacy (Hammond et al.,
2016). Families have a varying degree of preference for different types of legacybiological,
material and social. All these types of family legacy could serve as a source of motivation for
involving the next generation in the business. However, given those families with a higher
biological legacy orientation have a preference for passing the business through the family’s
bloodline, they are more likely to consider employing their adolescents in the business. Prior
studies suggest that concerns for keeping biological legacy influence how leaders of family firms
make strategic decisions (e.g. Gersick, Davis, Hampton, & Lansberg, 1997; Hammond et al.,
We, therefore, deduce that the business decision to hire familial adolescents implies
parents and adolescents spending more time with each other as well as adolescents working in a
unique environment. In the family business context, parents as managers and owners pay
attention to providing adolescents with a different type of working experience than their peers
would receive from working for strangers. As Hammond and colleagues noted (2016) “parental
altruism, which represents a trait linking the parents’ welfare to their children’s welfare, is
grounded in the notion that parents view their children as an extension of themselves” (p. 1216).
Under such context, as family business owners, while spending more time with their children,
parents also have incentive to provide their adolescents a unique working environment that in
turn affects the adolescents relationship with them as well as the adolescents psychological
Parent-Adolescent Relationship
Adolescence is a critical stage in one’s life (Hall, 1904) and the work experience during
this phase conveys a developmental importance both in the short and long run (Mortimer, 2010).
An important consequence of work is the mark it leaves on the type of relationship one develops
with her parents. Family studies researchers have studied this relationships by making an
underlying assumption that adolescent work takes time away from family time (e.g. Ashbourne,
& Daly, 2010; Steinberg & Dornbusch, 1991). In fact, many of the studies in the literature
highlight the importance of the role time plays in the parent-child relationship.
Time is a tool families use to craft and shape family ties (Gillis, 1996). In families where
both parents and children work, family members may be forced to sacrifice spending time with
each other to meet other demands arising from work obligations, which may give rise to work-
family conflict for both parents and adolescents. The value of time becomes even greater for
adolescents, compared to younger children, as they have less access to family time due to their
external activities such as staying out late with friends and working at jobs (Larson, Richards,
Moneta, Holmbeck, & Duckett, 1996).
While these findings are not conclusive, some studies suggest that reducing the amount of
time family members spend with one another may weaken family ties (e.g. Mortimer &
Shanahan, 1994; Steinberg & Dornbusch, 1991). The family-work literature also posits that
family and work domains influence each other. While empirical evidence supports the notion
that the number of work hours is negatively related to work-family balance (Valcour, 2007), it is
driven by the trade-off between working and spending time at home that causes distress to
individuals rather than the absolute number of working hours (Barnett & Gareis, 2000). Further,
to the extent to which work interferes with family, the family provides less emotional support
(Adams, King, & King, 1996).
The reduction of time adolescents spend with their families, not surprisingly, is
highlighted as one explanation for more negative outcomes associated with adolescents working
(Ashbourne & Daly, 2010). These studies, however, do not take into account the nature of the
relationship of the employer with the adolescents. While many of these studies highlight the
importance of the role time plays in the parent-child relationship, they do not differentiate
between who the adolescents are spending time with at worka stranger or a relative. In family
firms, spending time at work or with family is not mutually exclusive. We therefore expect that
in the family firm context, the impact of working on adolescent behaviors may be different than
currently suggested in the family studies literature.
Within the context of family firms, the involvement of adolescents in the business carries
its own weight. Family businesses are viewed by many family members as a form of collective
wealth that provides utility to the members and while contributing to it is usually encouraged,
disengagement from it may be frowned upon for both financial and emotional reasons (Eckrich
& Loughead, 1996). Because family members view working together and spending time together
as advantageous to running a family firm (Cole, 2000), they may be disappointed when some
members choose not to engage fully in the firm. Moreover, family firms count on the human
capital represented by their members; and given that the size of families is shrinking, these
resources have become more valuable (Aldrich & Cliff, 2003). Those family members who do
not facilitate running the business may damage their relationships with prominent family
members, in this case their father and mother.
Part of this unique work experience is that the nature of work contribution also differs for
adolescents who work in their family firms than those who work for other people. Those who
work for their family firms directly contribute to their family business and hence their
relationship with their parents may be more directly and positively influenced. The work setting
also allows adolescents to establish new types of ties, in addition to familial ones. Not only can
they learn more about their family firm and gain appreciation for the work their family puts into
the business, they might be able to better express themselves in new dimensions (Ward, 2004).
Finally, adolescents who work in their family firms are exposed to unique work
experiences that shape them differently than their counterparts. For example, one study showed
that those who work in their family business are more likely in the future to enjoy richer career
networking and select themselves into organizations with more fitting characteristics than other
adolescents who work for a non-family member (Houshmand, Seidel, & Ma, 2014). The
experience in the work role could spill over to the family role through both the affective and
instrumental paths which makes the family role more positive or negative depending on the
experience (Greenhaus & Powell, 2006). Consequently, we expect a richer work experience and
a positive working relationship between parents and adolescents at work to favorably influence
general parent-adolescent relationships. Spending time with family members coupled with the
other reasons discussed previously such as establishing new types of connections, finding new
avenues to express themselves, and contributing to the family business all suggest that
adolescents develop better relationships with their parents when they work consistently in their
family firms.
Hypothesis 1: Adolescents who have year round involvement in their family firms report
a better relationship with their parents than all other adolescents.
Psychological Well-being
Work that is dissatisfying or stressful can impair the psychological well-being of
adolescents. Stress and depression in the workplace is often the result of feeling responsible for
outcomes beyond one’s control (Shanahan, Finch, Mortimer, & Ryu, 1991). Work that interests
and challenges the worker can lead to positive psychological outcomes. For example, boys
reported a greater sense of well-being when assigned interesting and complex work; girls
reported greater self-esteem and well-being when they perceived school and work settings to be
mutually supportive (Mortimer, Finch, Shanahan, & Ryu, 1992).
Parents are altruistic towards their children and family members of a family business also
display altruistic behavior towards each other (Schulze, Lubatkin, & Dino, 2003). Families,
therefore, have incentives to provide positive and developmental working conditions for their
own children. To keep family and family firm legacy, parents groom the next generation as their
business successors (e.g. Hammond et al., 2016). We thus argue that in family firms adolescents
are more likely to have access to developmental work assignments than in situations where they
work for strangers. They are also more likely to receive support from other settings such as
school and family for the work they are doing at their family firms.
A study of children growing up in the Great Depression concluded that those who helped
their financially troubled families by either working within or outside the home had a higher
level of self-confidence than those who did not have the same opportunity (Elder & Rockwell,
1979). In the same vein, we predict that due to the better working conditions and the ability to
financially help their family, those adolescents who have year round involvement in their family
firms develop greater psychological well-being.
Taking into account the role time plays, compared to their younger siblings, adolescents
have fewer opportunities to spend time with their family and may also face work-family conflict
due to their scarcity of time; which becomes divided among school, friends, work and family
(Larson et al., 1996). Higher level of work-family conflict is positively associated with
psychological distress and depression for adults (Frone, 2000; Hammer, Neal, Newsom,
Brockwood, & Colton, 2005). Similarly, adolescents facing time constraints and higher levels of
work-family conflict may experience lower psychological well-being. Working adolescents in
family firms, however, have more opportunities to spend time with their families than their
counterparts. They, additionally, have more spare time to allocate to other settings such as social
and school. Therefore, these adolescents are better able to handle environmental demands and
experience less distress.
When parents hire their adolescents into the business, they provide a unique work
environment to adolescents. The unique work environment stems from the familial ties these
young workers have with their employers (Houshmand et al., 2014) who are more likely to
encourage the youngsters to engage in more interesting and complex tasks than other potential
employers at odd jobs elsewhere. This positive experience in the work role could spill over to
other settings (Greenhaus & Powell, 2006). Moreover, while all adolescents are pulled by many
external forces in different directions, those who work in their family firms are more likely able
to manage their family time more efficiently by having the opportunity to spend time with family
at work. Based on this logic, we argue that adolescents who have year round involvement,
defined as both during the school year and summer, in their family firms have higher
psychological well-being than their peers.
Hypothesis 2: Adolescents who have year round involvement in their family firms report
higher psychological well-being than all other adolescents.
Data and Sample
We identified a longitudinal dataset well suited to exploring our questions called the
National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY). The NLSCY was collected by
Statistics Canada and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. We used the
longitudinal weights provided by Statistics Canada to account for attrition between cycles, which
ensures the models are representative of the targeted population. As recommended by Statistics
Canada we conducted Stata BRR (balanced repeated replication) bootstrapping for all of our
models. Employing this method helps ensure that our sample represents the target population and
allows us to draw more generalizable conclusions from the results.
The NLSCY focuses on child growth development from an ecological perspective.
According to NLSCY user guides (e.g., Statistics Canada, 2010), survey content including
subject areas, priorities, and survey questions were determined by (1) the NLSCY expert
advisory group, which consists of researchers in the area of child development and the social
sciences, (2) federal departments, and (3) representatives responsible for child development
programs in the provinces and territories. As a result, several pre-validated scales were collected;
and we predict two in our current study (Radloff, 1977; Marsh and O’Neill, 1984).
For the purpose of this study, we used NLSCY data spanning 8 years, from when our
subset of adolescents, representing over 570,000 Canadians who were 8 to 9 years old in 1994-
1995, to when they were 16 to 17 years old in 2002-2003. In this study, we tested our theory
using our primary independent variables of interest when adolescents were 14 to 15 years old to
predict outcomes in later years, i.e., when they were 16 to 17 years old. We also used various
control variables from as early as age 8 to 9, as detailed below.
Dependent variables. Our questions lead to two sets of dependent variables for this
study. We theorized that adolescents who have year round involvement in their family firms
have a better relationship with their parents and have higher psychological well-being than all
other adolescents. For robustness, we operationalized these constructs in multiple ways as
General relationship with parent(s): We used a number of measures to capture the
parent-adolescent relationship construct from different perspectives: the adolescents’ perception
of how much parental affection they receive, how much the adolescents feel their parent(s)
understand them and the overall adolescent impression of their relationship with their parent(s).
The questions pertaining to fathers and mothers were asked separately. Three measures captured
adolescents’ perceptions of their relationship with each applicable parent. The questions were
phrased as follows: (1) Affection How much affection do you receive from your
(mother/father)? (2) Understanding How well do you feel that your (mother/father) understands
you? (3) Overall Relationship Overall, how would you describe your relationship with your
(mother/father)? The affection, understanding, and overall relationship variables were each
coded with three ordered outcomes: 1 for “very little/not at all,” 2 for “some” and 3 for “a great
We used a latent construct approach to measure parent-adolescent relationship. First, we
created a general measure for relationship with father and a general measure for relationship with
mother. Cronbach’s alpha for the father measures are .85 and .84 when adolescents are 14-15 and
16-17 years old, respectively. For the mother measures, they are .80 and .81. Although these
measures originate from the NLSCY, the internal consistency of the scale is high. The measures
were determined by domain experts and continue to be adopted in research regarding relations
with parents (e.g., Myers, 2005) as well as caregivers (e.g., Flynn, Robitaille, & Ghazal, 2006).
Furthermore, these studies exhibit similarly high levels of scale reliability. Our approach to this
variable is similar to Bushnik’s 2005 paper examining youth depressive symptoms and changes
in relationships with parents and peers in that we use the same three parent measures.1 However,
we then combined the measures as a single broader construct of overall relationship with parents
by averaging all valid parent-adolescent relationship components (i.e., three components for
single parent families, and six components otherwise). As a robustness check, we found that
results using the broader construct were consistent with the separate measures for father and
mother2, and as such present the results using this broad latent construct for our sample measured
both when adolescents are at age 14-15 (T1) and again at the age 16-17 cycle (T2).
Psychological well-being: To capture adolescent psychological well-being, we used two
measures, one of depression, the other of self-esteem. We measured depression with a version of
the depression scale developed by Radloff (1977) with a Cronbach’s alpha of .82 based on T2
data (when adolescents were 16 to 17 years old). The scale sums 12 items, each ranging from 0
(infrequent prevalence) to 3 (frequent prevalence), to capture occurrence of depression
symptoms as indicated by respondents within a one week span. The original depression scale,
1 We considered the addition of a fourth identified measure pertaining to the perceived fairness of each parent but,
like Bushnik (2005), found that the measure lacked variance. As a robustness check, we produced an index
including this fourth measure and found that the overall results remained substantively unchanged.
2 Albeit with the exception of one model. Specifically, the effect of year round involvement in the family firm did
not show a statistically significant effect in the model predicting general relationship with dad at age 14-15 (T1). All
other models predicting general relationship with dad and general relationship with mom were statistically
which is comprised of 20 questions, is also known as the Center for Epidemiologic Studies
Depression Scale (CES-D Scale) and continues to be widely used to measure symptoms of
depression. The NLSCY’s reduced 12-item scale ranges between 0 and 36, with a higher score
representing greater presence of depression symptoms. The full schedule of items is in Appendix
A. Statistics Canada collected the depression scale in T2 (when our subset of adolescents were
16 to 17 years old), but not in T1 (when our subset of adolescents were 14 to 15 years old).
Our second measure of psychological well-being is an index of self-reported self-esteem.
Four self-esteem items were taken from the Marsh Self-Description Questionnaire (SDQ; Marsh
and O’Neill, 1984) with a Cronbach’s alpha of .73 based on T1 data. The full-schedule Marsh
SDQ measures multiple dimensions pertaining to an individual’s self-concept. We
operationalized self-esteem using items from the SDQ’s General-Self Scale. The Marsh SDQ,
including its underlying dimensions and (re)iterations (e.g., SDQ-I, SDQ-II, SDQ-III, and
reduced versions thereof), are well established and have been applied broadly. The scale utilizes
the sum of 4 items, each ranging on a Likert scale from 0 (mostly false) to 4 (mostly true), to
denote general self-esteem. The scale ranges from 0 to 16, with a higher score indicating higher
self-esteem. The full schedule of items is in Appendix B. The scale was collected in both T1 and
T2 for our subset of adolescents.
Independent variables.When adolescents were 14 to 15 years old they were asked what
type of job they had during the previous summer, and since the beginning of the school year.
Qualifier questions ascertained whether they had held any jobs during those two periods. Later
questions were designed to narrow down the specific type of employment. The questions were
structured to elicit Yes/No responses. For example, “Last summer, did you do any work: at your
family’s farm or business (with or without pay)?” or “Since September 1st, have you done any
work: at your family’s farm or business (with or without pay)?” We categorized those
respondents who answered “Yes” to both the above questions as year round family firm workers
and distinguished them from other adolescents. We used this measure for all of our analyses to
compare those adolescents who work in their family firm on a year round basis with all other
adolescents. The year round engagement in the business, we believe, allows for the development
of better relationships with parents as well as developing better psychological well-being.
Control variables. We controlled for general individual attributes such as gender, age,
and race. Female is a dichotomous measure of gender, with male respondents coded as 0 and
female respondents coded as 1. Age is a continuous measure of the respondents’ actual age at the
time of their T1 interview and can differ from their survey age. That is, although the survey age
at T1 is 14 to 15 years old, the actual range for this variable spanned from 13 to 16. Though most
respondents were either 14 or 15 years old at T1, interviews were not conducted on the same day
corresponding to the day respondents were surveyed in the first cycle of the NLSCY (i.e., when
they were 8 or 9 years old). Because respondents are not surveyed on the same day each time, a
few will be one year younger or older from their formal survey age. Our third general individual
attribute variable is race. White is a dichotomous measure of race, with white respondents coded
as 1 and non-white respondents coded as 0.
Number of siblings has been associated with perceived parent-adolescent relationships
(Kidwell, 1981) and research shows that socioeconomic status influences children’s health,
cognitive and socioemotional outcomes (Bradley and Corwyn, 2002). As such, we also included
four family level variables to control for differences across familiesnumber of siblings, single
parent family, parent(s) average age and socioeconomic status (SES). All independent and
control variables were identified when adolescents were 14 to 15 years old except for the SES
and single parent family variables, which were identified when adolescents were 12 to 13 years
old. The latest cross-sectional SES captured in the survey for our age group was based on the
SES of up to both parents from when the adolescents were 12 to 13 years old (Statistics Canada,
2010). Number of siblings was coded as a count of the number of siblings belonging to a
respondent. The single-parent family variable was also dummy coded as 1 for families with only
one parent, and 0 for two-parent families. The household SES variable was derived using up to
five variables: Household Income (in $1000s), years of education (for up to two parents), and
occupational prestige (for up to two parents) using a modified version of the scale developed by
Pineo, Porter and McRoberts (1977). The SES variable was only coded for two-parent families
that answered at least 3 of the 5 questions, and for single-parent families that answered at least 2
of the 3 questions posed to them. Statistics Canada, in their coding of the SES variable, makes a
final transformation by standardizing all components of the SES variable, and taking the mean of
all available components (Statistics Canada, 2002). Two versions of the SES variable were
derived in the NLSCY: longitudinal SES and cross-sectional SES. The differences between the
two are minor; however, the former is recommended for examining within-household SES
changes while the latter is suited for between-household differences in SES (Statistics Canada,
2002, p.68). Therefore, we use the cross-sectional version of the SES variable during the time
that respondents were 12 to 13 years old. As single-parent households naturally score lower on
the SES scale, Statistics Canada recommends that researchers control for single-parent
households when using the scale; and we followed this recommendation (Statistics Canada,
2010). In the same vein, we control for parent(s) average age because older parents are more
likely to have higher SES (Statistics Canada, 2002, p.67).
Additionally, we included a dummy variable for working in general in our models to
tease out the difference in outcomes for those who have work experience. Those who worked at
the age of 14 to 15 either during the summer or/and school year received a score of 1 on this
variable while those who did not were coded as 0. All respondents that indicated working for
their family firm for any part of the year were therefore also coded as 1 along with those who
had general work experience. Including this control variable allowed us to differentiate the effect
of working in family firm from the effect of general work. In other words, because we have
variables for family firm work as well as general work, any family firm work effects can be
interpreted as occurring above and beyond that of general work effects. Indeed, the motivation
for including this variable is central to our argument that year round family firm involvement has
benefits beyond those associated with working in general (e.g., Houshmand, Seidel, & Ma,
While many family farms are family businesses, they possess unique characteristics that
might be different than nonfarm family businesses (Astrachan & Shanker, 2003; Dumas et al.,
1995; Steier, 2001). Hence, we controlled for whether the family firm is farm family business or
nonfarm family business. To differentiate family farm workers from other types, we created two
dummy variables, one to capture whether at least one parent worked in agriculture and one to
capture whether the family lived in a rural or urban region. We observed that both of these
groups were more likely to be employed as year round family workers than other adolescents.
We therefore included the two dummy variables as control variables in our models.
Finally, we control for a lagged measure of general relationship with parent(s) from when
adolescents were 12 to 13 years old (T0). The coding of this variable is identical to our first
dependent variable, with the distinction that it is coded from an earlier time period and used as a
control for potential selection bias. That is, the likelihood for adolescents with better parent-
adolescent relationships to self-select into the family firm.3
Risk Sets
To rule out alternative explanations of the positive relationship between year round
family firm involvement and our dependent variables, we analyzed three samples of data. The
first sample examines year round family firm involvement compared to all other arrangements.
However, it remains possible that our predicted year round family firm involvement effects stem
from family firm properties as opposed to actual involvement in the family firm. An alternative
explanation for any significant effects can be attributed to the different properties associated with
growing up in a family business environment. As a result, we used two subsamples of the first
sample. These risk sets help to address concerns around these alternative explanations, by
examining adolescents that have the opportunity foror, are at risk offamily firm
In our initial models we compare adolescents who have year round work involvement in
their family firm to all other adolescents by testing the models on a full population sample
representing a population of roughly 500,000 adolescents. In addition to building models of the
full population, as a robustness check to rule out selection bias explanations and also to unearth
interesting distinctions between children of family firms, we defined two specific additional risk
sets to identify those adolescents in our sample that potentially could have had an opportunity to
work in their family firms. The first risk set consists of those who reported working for their
family business or farm at the minimum of either in the summer or during the school year when
they were between 14 and 15 years old. This set represents roughly 115,000 Canadians who were
14 to 15 years old in 2000-2001. For this set, we compared our independent variable of year
3 We thank an anonymous reviewer for bringing this concern to our attention.
round work involvement which is defined by working for the family firm in both time periods,
against partial involvement in either fall or summer. By repeating the same analysis we
conducted using the full population on this particular risk set, we were able to tease out the effect
of year round involvement in family firm from partial involvement.
The second risk set was those who had at least one parent who was self-employed. Being
self-employed is not equivalent to running a family firm. However, this risk set serves as a proxy
for adolescents who have access to working along with their parents when their parents are self-
employed. This set represents roughly 120,000 Canadians during the same period. For this
group, we compared year round family firm work involvement with everyone else in the risk set.
We used OLS regression in accordance with the provided design weights to examine both
parts of our theory (i.e. the effect of year round family firm involvement on adolescent
relationship with parents, and the effect of year round family firm involvement on adolescent
psychological well-being). OLS regression is appropriate because our dependent variables are
continuous, while utilizing Statistics Canada’s provided design weights allows us to properly
account for attrition and generalize our results to our population of interest (i.e., Canadians that
were age 8 to 9 years old in 1994-1995). The design of the survey is such that a unique set of
weights are provided for each time period. As a result, our modeling choices are limited and we
develop separate models to predict our dependent variables for each time period. As part of
Statistics Canada’s privacy restrictions, we are not allowed to report the exact sample size or
correlations between raw variables. We followed Statistics Canada guidelines for researchers
utilizing individual level data through the secure Research Data Centre program and provide
details on the target population weighted appropriately. For our analysis, the target population
covered approximately 500,000 people. We evaluated the variance inflation factor (VIF) values
of all variables in all models and found no significant multicollinearity problems (VIF < 1.28).
Table 1 presents the full results of the regressions on general relationship with parents
captured when adolescents are 14 to 15 years old (T1), and again when they are 16 to 17 years
old (T1+2 years later). The first model includes only the control variables whereas the following
model adds the year round involvement in the family firm dummy variable. In the subsequent set
of models, which look at our dependent variable in T2, we similarly start with a model with only
control variables, then add our independent variable of interest. We highlight the year round
involvement in the family firm variable in bold. Tables 2 and 3 present the results for the risk
sets. Table 2 illustrates the findings for those adolescents who had indicated that they had some
experience working in the family firm during that year, whereas Table 3 depicts those who had at
least one self-employed parent.
As seen in these tables, when adolescents are 14-15 years old, year round involvement in
the family firm generally has a statistically significant positive relationship with adolescents'
general relationship with their parents. Our risk set analyses in Table 2 show those that work for
their family firm throughout the year report having a better relationship with parents, compared
to those that work for family during only part of the year. Similarly, as shown in Table 3, the
effects are positive and significant when looking at the set of respondents who have at least one
self-employed parent showing those who have year round involvement in their family firm
experience better relationship with their parents than those who have a self-employed parent but
do not have year round work involvement at the family firm.
Two years later we find a consistent pattern. In the full population, general parental
relationships appear to be better for those who had year round involvement in their family firm.
Looking at the size of the coefficients, we do observe an increase from T1 to T2 in all the models
of full population and risk sets. By taking this into account, we infer that while working in a
family firm appears to be a reliable way to initiate a rich parent-adolescent relationship, the
positive relationships with parents continue to strengthen into the future. Together these findings
provide support for H1 that year round involvement in the family firm leads to better relationship
with parents.
To gain perspective on the psychological outcome part of our theory, we used two
measures: self-esteem and depression, and found empirical support for each. Table 4 presents the
full results of the regression on depression. Depression data was collected by Statistics Canada in
T2 when adolescents were 16 to 17 years old. As such, we show the analysis for T2 when
adolescents were 16 to 17 years old. Self-esteem, on the other hand, was measured in both T1
and T2. Tables 5-7 present the results on self-esteem for the full sample and risk sets,
We find consistent statistically significant effects for both measures when working year
round in a family firm in T1, though for T2 only. There is only a marginally significant (p<.10)
effect for working year round in the family firm in the full population model predicting self-
esteem in T1. Both risk sets predicting self-esteem in T1 do not have statistically significant
effects. These combined results could suggest that working in a family firm has positive and
proximal (i.e., during T1) effects on self-esteem independent of the level of involvement (i.e.,
year round or partial); although the evidence for such an effect is only marginal. Working year
round in the family firm shows a negative relationship with depression, and a positive
relationship with self-esteem, during T2. This pattern of results for the self-esteem models
(significant effect in T2, lack of a consistent effect in T1) suggests that there may be a latent
effect for working in the family firm year round at the age of 14-15 that manifests over time. The
results of the models predicting general relationship with parents, with their larger effect sizes in
T2, also supports the interpretation that year round involvement of adolescents in the family firm
can establish a gradually-manifesting path towards desirable outcomes including a better
relationship with parents as well as psychological well-being. Together these findings provide
support for H2 that year round involvement in the family firm yields higher psychological well-
In this paper, we theorized and tested the effects of the involvement of young adolescents
in their family business on adolescents’ relationship with parents and adolescents’ psychological
well-being. If adolescents work at the business, parents can not only spend more time with them,
but also play a more central role in their general professional training, development, and
professional mentorship. To understand the consequences for adolescents, we drew on research
findings from the family business literature and the family studies literature and used
longitudinal data that allowed us to compare these adolescents with their peers who have other
types of work engagements.
The decision making process of parents as owners and managers of family firms is
influenced by their intention and preference in keeping family legacy (Hammond et al., 2016).
Whether, these families have biological, material or even social legacy orientation, through
hiring, parents are able to spend more time with their children and offer their adolescents
relatively attractive jobs and personal growth opportunities, and are also able to spend more time
with their children. Working with and for relatives is a rather unique experience compared to
working for strangers. It gives unique experiences to adolescents who work in their family firms
compared to their peers who work elsewhere in such a way that those who work in their family
firms have better relationships with their parents and have better psychological well-being.
Using the rich longitudinal NLSCY data allowed us to investigate these effects over time.
This dataset limited us in finding information on the extent to which adolescents spend time with
their parents at work or whether adolescents are exposed to a unique work environment when
working for their family firms. As such, we were not able to directly test these mechanisms
beyond the proxy measure we include. However, the comprehensive sampling and weighting
scheme allows us to generalize findings of an improved relationship with parents and better
psychological well-being to a broad population. This data limitation does provide a good
opportunity for future research using a different data strategy to more explicitly examine the
multi-level work implications implied by the ecological theory of human development. The
theory suggests the family business context should be different, and our findings show support
for this. Building upon these findings, it would be natural to examine a wide variety of
interactions of these systems to better understand the overall dynamic of interactions of the
multiple layers to analyze the broader system level questions.
While one of the unique strengths of this study is that we compared these effects between
those adolescents who work in their family firms on a year round basis against all other
adolescents, we also explored the possibility of whether the effects were different across a
number of identified risk sets. The risk sets allowed us to combat the challenges of selecting on
the dependent variable, as would be common in a study solely of adolescents working in family
firms, and compare the effects across all of those adolescents who have the potential to work in
their family firms if they choose to do so.
The empirical results of this study from the analysis of the full population as well as
the risk sets yield two interesting and in some ways unexpected discoveries. The first one is that
the improved relationship with parents involves both fathers and mothers. While due to the
archival data structure we cannot tease out which parent is involved in the family business, our
analysis provides evidence that the improved relationship between those adolescents who work
in their family firm and their parents applies to both parents. We constructed two latent variables
corresponding to relationship with mother and relationship with father. We also created a broader
construct of relationship with parents, presented in our tables, which combines both parents. Our
findings are robust across these analyses and provide support for the positive impact of
adolescents working in their family firm on their relationship with their parents. This may stem
from the fact that those adolescents who work in their family firm gain a deeper understanding of
the financial situation of their families and through their year round involvement directly
contribute to it, regardless of which parent works in the business. Their involvement coupled
with spending time with parental figures working in the business foster a positive relationship
between the adolescents and parents.
We also found that generally speaking the benefits of working in a family firm are best
obtained through year round involvement in the family firm as opposed to partial involvement.
The only exception is that the immediate effect of working in the family firm on self-esteem is
not dependent on the level and continuity of involvement of adolescents in the business and even
partial involvement could lead to positive effects on self-esteem, although the finding is
marginally statistically significant. However, the same effect is not true in the long term for both
self-esteem and depression. In this case, those adolescents who have year round involvement in
the family firm (i.e. throughout summer and school year) benefit the most in terms of their
psychological well-being in the longer-run (i.e. two years later) than all other adolescents
including those who work partially in their family firm.
By exploring the positive impact of the involvement of adolescents in the family firm on
adolescents’ relationship with their parents and the adolescent’s psychological well-being, the
contributions of this study are twofold. First, we directly respond to calls of family business
scholars to employ longitudinal data, and draw on representative samples (Sharma, 2004;
Sharma, Chrisman, & Gersick, 2012) and also to make a direct comparison between working for
family firms versus non-family firms (Chrisman, Chua & Sharma, 2005). We, further, have
focused our attention on an understudied phenomenon in the family business literature--
adolescents, who are a significant source of potential human capital and successors of the
business. Adolescents’ relationship with parents and their psychological well-being could have
significant impact on how family and family firms carry their legacy forward. Our findings start
to answer the recent call of Jaskiewicz and Dyer (2017) to study family heterogeneities. Our
work directly addresses one of the four categories they raise family interactions. That said, the
simplified parental relationship measures our data was limited to are an opportunity for future
research to further disentangle alternative family structures and relationships and answer the rest
of their call to study broader family heterogeneities beyond family interactions. The various
other types of heterogeneities raised in their essay suggest that differences on family structure,
family functional roles, and family events may also impact the dynamics we observed.
Second, we contribute to the family studies literature by theoretically differentiating the
family firm adolescent work experience from working for a stranger. While the field of family
studies has greatly shaped public policies regarding child labor, theoretically it has not made an
explicit differentiation and empirically tested such differences among an array of various types
of work. Previous literature had assumed that adolescent work experience pulls children away
from parents, yet when working in a family firm many times the opposite is true. It appears that
working for a family firm is a critical type of unobserved heterogeneity regarding the construct
of “high quality” work experience proposed by Mortimer, Kim, Staff, and Vuolo (2016) during
these critical developmental years. Our findings suggest that future studies in this field should
include and control for the important variable of the nature of family relationship to the
employer. In other words, the family business context needs to be brought in and accounted for
as it can provide strong positives for adolescent development. For example, one study found that
adolescents’ relationship with parents were more positive for those adolescents situated in rural
settings than those in urban settings (Shanahan, Elder Jr, Burchinal, & Conger, 1996). However,
in our data we observed that there is a higher chance for adolescents living in a rural setting to be
working in their family firm than in an urban setting. We consequently argue that the positive
parent-child effect found in the rural setting could potentially be explained by our theory.
Adolescents in rural settings are more likely to work in their family business and those who work
in their family business tend to have better relationships with parents. Therefore, we expect to
see that among those adolescents working, those in rural areas have a better relationship with
their parents. By highlighting this important difference between working for family versus
working for strangers, this paper offers alternative explanations based upon the nature of work
for previously observed results concerning adolescent work more broadly where details about the
familial relationship with the employer are unavailable. Future work in the ecological theory of
human development needs to address the specific work quality differences working in a family
business creates for the adolescent and family relationships more broadly.
While we acknowledge that the better psychological outcomes that are found in
adolescents who work in their family firms are desirable, an important implication for such
adolescents is the lifelong impact of the enhanced relationship with their parents. Prior research
findings suggest the satisfaction with a mentoring relationship can have profound influence on
individuals (Ragins, Cotton, & Miller , 2000) and a common source of mentorship for children is
their parents. In the past few decades, however, the nature of parent-child relationships has
changed and they tend to spend less time with each other. For example as Putnam noted
“between 1976 and 1997, according to Roper polls of families with children aged 8 to 17,
vacationing together fell from 53 percent to 38 percent, watching TV together from 54 percent to
41 percent, attending religious services together from 38 percent to 31 percent, and ‘just sitting
and talking’ together from 53 percent to 43 percent” (2000, p. 101). The decrease in the
interaction between parents and children may impact family ties and adolescent behaviors over
the full life-course. Children suffer in their performance due to the lack of parental involvement
in their affairs (Astone & McLanahan, 1991).
In family firms not spending enough time with children, or not having them involved in
the business, can have more severe consequences than the classical work-family conflict. Young
family members may lose the motivation to become involved in the family firm (Aldrich & Cliff,
2003), or the competitive advantage of family firms may suffer due to the possible decline in
family social capital (Arregle et al., 2007). Shrinkage of family size also implies fewer options
available among family members as the potential successor to the business. Evidently,
adolescents working in their family firm have many long-term advantages. Not only may the
children adopt the entrepreneurial spirit from their parents (White, Thornhill, & Hampson, 2007),
and associate an identity to the business (Shepherd & Haynie, 2009), but also as this study
unearthed, hiring adolescents into their family firms enables adolescents with a greater sense of
psychological well-being and improves their relationship with their parents setting them up for
different life paths.
Prior research suggests that other people in an individual’s network have a great
influence in shaping individual careers (Bosley, Arnold, & Cohen, 2009), and in many instances
individuals turn to their family members to make career decisions (Whiston & Keller, 2004). But
what happens when parents and children become colleagues? What happens when family, which
plays an important part in the “life course” of individual work (Erickson, Martinengo, & Hill,
2010), becomes a central component of one’s life such in multiple domains such as work and
home? Do individuals who work alongside a relative exhibit different career choices than their
peers? This paper has attempted to open the conversation about these important questions and
calls for future research to consider the consequences of heterogeneous work experiences in the
family business on career outcomes.
Managerial Implications
Spending more time with adolescents at work implies parents having a greater control
over their family and work responsibilities. This perceived control in return can provide parents
with more calmness and less work-life conflict (Williams & Alliger, 1994). It is surprising that
many family business consultants advise against the next generation becoming involved in their
parents' business in their early professional years. An advisor explains this point: "gaining some
work experience outside the business first [is] a great opportunity for the children to prove
themselves, make mistakes in someone else's backyard, and ensure that they are bringing
something to the party...and outside work experience boosts self-esteem" (Karofsky, 2005).
While this advice may be applicable in some situations for adults in their 20s, 30s or even 40s,
we previously knew very little about the effect of work in the family business during
Our findings clearly demonstrate working in a family firm during adolescence raises
one's general psychological well-being. This common advisor advice also ignores another
important factori.e. the relationship with parents. Without relying on empirical evidence, many
family business owners and consultants believe that children should be urged to work elsewhere
before entering into family firms to gain self-esteem and establish credibility (Ward, 2004). In
this study, we take a systematic look at the impact working in their family firms has on
adolescents’ psychological well-being and relationships with their parents, and find evidence
contradicting common practice recommendations which have been made without any empirical
This study can serve as an important empirical source to inform choices by parents in
family firms as well as family business advisors regarding adolescents working in the business. It
specifically speaks to those families who wish to create successful legacies. Our results suggest
parents should give serious thought into hiring their adolescents into their family firm and
offering them challenging and interesting projects to aid in their development, while
simultaneously suggesting that all adolescents should strive to identify attractive high quality
work experience, such as working in their family business, during their formative years to build
the psychological foundation for positive lifelong trajectories.
Weighted Regression Predicting General Relationship with Parents-Full Sample
General Relationship with Parents
14-15 years old
16-17 years old
Parents Farm
Parents Average Age
Single Parent Family
Socio-economic Status
General Working
Lagged General Relationship with Parents
Year Round Involvement in Family Business
+ p< .10 * p<.05 ** p<.01 *** p<.001
Weighted Regression Predicting General Relationship with Parents-Risk Set 1
Risk Set 1: A sub-population of all adolescents who worked in their family’s business for at least one season.
General Relationship with Parents
14-15 years old
16-17 years old
Parents Farm
Parents Average Age
Single Parent Family
Socio-economic Status
Lagged General Relationship with Parents
Year Round Involvement in Family Business
+ p< .10 * p<.05 ** p<.01 *** p<.001
Weighted Regression Predicting General Relationship with Parents-Risk Set 2
Risk Set 2: A sub-population of all adolescents who had at least one self-employed parent.
General Relationship with Parents
14-15 years old
16-17 years old
Parents Farm
Parents Average Age
Single Parent Family
Socio-economic Status
General Working
Lagged General Relationship with Parents
Year Round Involvement in Family Business
+ p< .10 * p<.05 ** p<.01 *** p<.001
Weighted Regression Predicting Depression-Full Models (16-17 years old)
Risk Set 1
Risk Set 2
Parents Farm
Parents Average Age
Single Parent Family
Socio-economic Status
General Working
Lagged General Relationship with Parents
Year Round Involvement in Family Business
+ p< .10 * p<.05 ** p<.01 *** p<.001
Risk Set 1: A sub-population of all adolescents who worked in their family’s business for at least one season.
Risk Set 2: A sub-population of all adolescents who had at least one self-employed parent.
Weighted Regression Predicting Self-Esteem-Full Sample
14-15 years old
16-17 years old
Parents Farm
Parents Average Age
Single Parent Family
Socio-economic Status
General Working
Lagged General Relationship with Parents
Year Round Involvement in Family Business
+ p< .10 * p<.05 ** p<.01 *** p<.001
Weighted Regression Predicting Self-Esteem-Risk Set 1
Risk Set 1: A sub-population of all adolescents who worked in their family’s business for at least one season.
14-15 years old
16-17 years old
Parents Farm
Parents Average Age
Single Parent Family
Socio-economic Status
Lagged General Relationship with Parents
Year Round Involvement in Family Business
+ p< .10 * p<.05 ** p<.01 *** p<.001
Weighted Regression Predicting Self-Esteem-Risk Set 2
Risk Set 2: A sub-population of all adolescents who had at least one self-employed parent.
14-15 years old
16-17 years old
Parents Farm
Parents Average Age
Single Parent Family
Socio-economic Status
General Working
Lagged General Relationship with Parents
Year Round Involvement in Family Business
+ p< .10 * p<.05 ** p<.01 *** p<.001
Items in Scale, Depression
How often have you felt or behaved this way during the past week (7 days)?
1. I did not feel like eating; my appetite was poor.
2. I felt I could not shake off the blues even with the help from my family and friends.
3. I had trouble keeping my mind on what I was doing.
4. I felt depressed.
5. I felt that everything I did was an effort.
6. I felt hopeful for the future.*
7. My sleep was restless.
8. I was happy.*
9. I felt lonely.
10. I enjoyed life.*
11. I had crying spells.
12. I felt people disliked me.
Each item has the same set of possible responses, resulting in a scale ranging from 0 to 36:
0. Rarely or none of the time (less than 1 day)
1. Some or little of the time (1 to 2 days)
2. Occasionally or a moderate amount of the time (3 to 4 days)
3. Most or all of the time (5 to 7 days)
*these three items were reverse loaded into the overall depression scale “Most or all of the time (5 to 7
days)” responses were coded as 0 whereas “Rarely or none of the time (less than 1 day)” responses were
coded as 3.
Items in Scale, Self-Esteem
1. In general, I like the way I am.
2. Overall I have a lot to be proud of.
3. A lot of things about me are good.
4. When I do something, I do it well.
Each item has the same set of possible responses, resulting in a scale ranging from 0 to 16:
0. False
1. Mostly false
2. Sometimes false/Sometimes true
3. Mostly true
4. True
Non-response on any of the four above items resulted in not being included in the final self-
esteem scale; in cycle 1, this resulted in an overall non-response rate of 14%-15.8%.
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... L. Dumas & Sanchez-Burks, 2015). Other geographic settings include Asia (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, China; e.g., Chen et al., 2018), Europe (Germany, Britain, Italy, Sweden, Turkey; e.g., Bjursell & Bäckvall, 2011), Canada (e.g., Houshmand et al., 2017), Australia (e.g., Smith, 2000), and South Africa (e.g., Venter et al., 2009). Only one article conducts a comparison across cultures-the United States and Australia (Smyrnios et al., 2003). ...
... Working together with one's parents also affects nonwork outcomes for both younger and older children and influences the parent-child relationship. Drawing on ecological systems theory, Houshmand et al. (2017) find that adolescents who work in FBs have better psychological and family outcomes compared with their peers who work for non-FBs, including better relationships with their parents and higher psychological well-being. On the other hand, integrated work and family roles between parents and children and the permeability of boundaries between work and family domains may lead to deviant behaviors at both work and home. ...
... Family members' involvement in the FB can result in positive spillover in the family domain. For example, next generation adolescents with year-round involvement in their family's business have better relationships with their parents compared with their peers working in non-FBs (Houshmand et al., 2017). These findings point to potential unique resources flowing from the firm to the family, as shared work experience can strengthen family-level variables and family system effectiveness. ...
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The work–family interface (WFI) in family businesses (FBs) is an underrecognized area of research. The permeable nature of the boundaries in FBs between work and family is often treated as self-evident and as preventing (rather than inviting) research. We review the WFI in FBs based on 72 published articles and highlight implicit assumptions that have given rise to gaps in this literature. We show how boundary theory, the work–home resources model and the resource-based view can be used to highlight issues related to ownership, work–family enrichment, and contextual factors at the individual, family, and firm domains.
... First, at least among Spanish Roma families, owning a family firm creates incentives to have more children (Aisa et al., 2017). Evidence from Statistics Canada's National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, which surveyed 426,204 adolescents over an 8-year span, indicates that adolescents who work in their family firms on a year-round basis develop better relationships with their parents and better psychological well-being (i.e., higher self-esteem, lower depression) than children who work in nonfamily firms (Houshmand et al., 2017). ...
... Lee, Danes, et al., 2006). Involving children in the business (e.g., Houshmand et al., 2017) and/or strategies for managing the family-firm interface (e.g., Lambrecht & Lievens, 2008;Nordstrom & Jennings, 2018) might affect how families perceive stressor events (C). There are likely many specific sources of stress from family businesses (A), different types of resources that firms provide (B), and many variables that affect how such events are viewed (C). ...
Researchers recently pointed to family science as one avenue for better understanding business families. We submit, however, that leveraging family science will require building on what researchers have already learned, often without the benefit of family science theories. Thus, we review progress from studies that investigate links between business family attributes and family firms and integrate our review with descriptions of family science theories that pertain to each attribute. By pairing what is known about different business family attributes with the appropriate family science theories, our hope is to accelerate efforts to understand the myriad ways business families shape family businesses.
... (a) Attitude toward entrepreneurship, (b) entrepreneurial self-efficacy and (c) subjective norms are positively related to family member exposure to entrepreneurship.The third dimension, work involvement, captures the experience of offspring involved with their family business in an occupational capacity. In the context of both the developed and developing world, LaPorta et al. (1999),Arregle et al. (2007) andHoushmand et al. (2017) observe a prevailing tendency of parents to hire their own children, usually adolescents, on board the family firm. In fact, when parents exclude offspring from the firm and spend less time with ...
Purpose Scholars have typically examined family business exposure as an aggregate variable. However, it is probable that this trend oversimplifies the complexity of family exposure and its nuanced influence on entrepreneurial behaviour. Thus, to extend the theoretical boundary, this inquiry investigates distinct dimensions of family exposure in Nigeria while drawing on the theory of planned behaviour. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected from five public universities in Nigeria. A sample of 1,314 respondents was analysed using a partial least squares structural equation modelling approach to determine the influence of alternate family business exposures. Findings The results show that entrepreneurial exposure in the forms of parent, family member and work involvement have salient and distinctive influences on implementation intention to the extent that entrepreneurial self-efficacy, attitudes and subjective norms are uniquely impacted. Originality/value This study offers novel insights on the predictors of entrepreneurial implementation intention through the distinctive effects of (1) family member exposure, (2) parent exposure and (3) work involvement exposure among students in the family firm context.
... Family employees are similar to individuals working in regular employment in terms of the type of work they perform, yet they are in a strong tie relationship to a business owner which can lead to benefits and challenges. Such conditions allow them to be with or close to a family member while at work, which can lead to role overlap between family and work life; but also reduce role conflict (Cooper et al. 2013;Houshmand et al. 2017). Such conditions also provide additional incentives to grant and use FWA, as this flexibility may be beneficial to the family running the business (Dreyer and Busch 2021). ...
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Ongoing trends towards more flexible work arrangements (FWA) have been accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis. Whilst research has shown the overall benefits FWA can have, limited research has explored whether use and benefits of FWA are equal across differentiated organisational contexts and genders. We suggest that individuals working in their family’s business face less organizational constraints that typically hinder employees from taking advantage of FWA. It could be suggested that these workers may make higher use of FWA than individuals in regular employment because of their entrepreneurial status and nepotistic privileges. Consequently, the aim of this paper is to explore if family members working in their family’s business, work under favourable boundary conditions which enable them to more freely make use of and benefit from FWAs. Utilising representative data from the German Family Panel (pairfam), our comparative analysis based on propensity score matching, suggests that family members working in their family’s business (N = 337) do make greater use of FWA than those in regular employment. Counter to common assumptions, the findings reveal that FWA leads to higher workloads for owner-managers but not for family employees. Furthermore, families working in their business show no differences in how they divide household tasks compared to regular employed families–yet they perceive that division to be fairer. This study extends knowledge by introducing family ownership and kinship ties as important boundary conditions to existing theories on FWA, such as life-course theory. It also provides new insights into the commonly assumed consequences of FWA use.
... The most significant number of works related to QWL concerns the medical aspects of the work process and workers (or a member of their families) with various physical or mental problems, and ways to overcome them to improve QWL, despite the existing ailment (Courpasson & Monties, 2017;Follmer & Jones, 2018;Stoner & Stoner, 2014); gender and age differences of workers in the labor market (Menzio, Telyukova & Visschers, 2016;Sudbury-Riley, 2014;Andrade & Westover, 2018); family, leisure, or work priority ratios (Ollo-Lpez & Goñi-Legaz, 2017;Nawijn & Damen, 2014;Houshmand, Seidel & Ma, 2017;Gawlik & Jacobsen, 2016;Beigi, Shirmohammadi & Stewart, 2018;Howley, 2017); studies of the relationship between corporate social responsibility and well-being of employees (Ivanova & Bikeeva, 2016); studies of the impact Proceedings of INTCESS 2020-7th International Conference on Education andSocial Sciences 20-22 January, 2020 -DUBAI (UAE) of participation in a cultural and sporting events on QWL (Wheatley & Bickerton, 2017;Gundolf, Jaouen & Gast, 2018). Finally, there is a significant amount of work in the categories of Economics, Business, and Management, considering the impact of management decisions on employees' QWL. ...
Conference Paper
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The quality of work-life gradually takes precedence over the world, and research into the field is on the rise. Everyday life hinges upon the quality of work-life, thereby making it relevant for discussion and investigation. By addressing the bibliometric research deficit from an international literature perspective, this study explores the thematic evolution and the state of quality of work-life concerning the internationally accredited scientific databases: Web of Science and Scopus. The presented paper gives an overview of previous studies, conducting the last decade on the issues of the quality of the work-life and digital economy. The analysis is limited by the most significant works, considering the citation index, related to human resource management in companies and making managerial decisions that directly affect the quality of work life. The results indicate an increase in discussions around the digital economy and its impact on the quality of work-life issues. Finally, the paper contributes to the literature in the field under study and makes recommendations for future longitudinal studies.
... For a Chinese sample of 33,519 entrepreneurs, Jensen and his colleagues demonstrated that innovation activities related to entrepreneurship may have a positive effect on an individual's job satisfaction, the balance between work and family, and general life comfort. Furthermore, several recent studies indicate a greater interest in the psychological results of entrepreneurial efforts, such as psychological wellbeing (Uy et al., 2013;Houshmand et al., 2017;Hahn, 2019), quality of life (Tobias et al., 2013;Reuschke, 2019), job satisfaction (Millán et al., 2013;Soboleva, 2019), and business satisfaction (Carree and Verheul, 2012). Examining such psychological outcomes and their antecedents is important because life satisfaction is associated with many outcomes in people's lives, including health, personal income, longevity, citizenship, and social relationships (Diener et al., 2015). ...
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This article presents a scientometric study regarding entrepreneurship and its relationship with wellbeing. The study presents a systematic review and measures impact and relational character to identify the relevance of countries, research organizations, and authors in the field of entrepreneurial wellbeing. The study poses the following research questions: What is the nature of the evolution of scientific knowledge in the entrepreneurial wellbeing field? What is the nature of the concentration in terms of geographical distribution and co-authorship level of knowledge production in the entrepreneurial wellbeing field? What are the knowledge trends in knowledge production for entrepreneurial wellbeing literature? The contribution of this research is two-fold. First, in terms of methodology, it contributes study into the use of a more robust approach to search for the scientometric trends about entrepreneurship wellbeing in addition to the PRISMA review tools and the PICOS eligibility criteria. Secondly, the study presents research updates in the search for results for the last 2 years of knowledge production. This upgrade is particularly important in a research field that presents exponential growth, where 2019 and 2020 presented almost double the amount of knowledge production compared to 2017 and 2018.
... Only few studies investigated the benefits of being involved or having work experience in the family-owned business for individual relatives. The main outcomes point to higher reported parental support and less addiction for adolescents involved in the FB, e.g., [39,40]. Hence, we lack knowledge on how being involved in the family business can affect the mental health (both ill-being and well-being) of individual family members and of the family system. ...
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Mental health issues in family businesses and business families have been studied in multiple disciplines within the past three decades. This article systematically reviews 51 articles on mental health issues in family businesses and business families, published in a wide variety of psychology, entrepreneurship, and management journals. Based on a systematic review of extant literature, this article first provides an overview of the state of the art, followed by specific suggestions on novel research questions, theoretical frameworks and study design. This way, the review systematizes evidence on known antecedents and consequences of mental health issues in family businesses and business families, but also reveals overlooked and undertheorized drivers and outcomes. The review reveals major gaps in our knowledge that hinder a valid understanding of mental health in the specific context of family businesses and business families, and articulates specific research questions that could be tackled by future research among management as well as mental health scholars. Finally, we point to the relevance of this study for policy makers, family business advisors, therapists and managers.
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Entrepreneurial intention plays a central role in stimulating the growth of entrepreneurs. The purpose of this investigation is to explore the relationship between several forecasted variables that can drive to students’ entrepreneurial intention, consisting of entrepreneurial education, entrepreneurial attitude, family education, and environment. We applied a quantitative approach with a cross-sectional survey model to capture the digestion of how entrepreneurship education, family education, environment, and entrepreneurial attitude can explain the entrepreneurial intention of vocational students. This research used a convenience sample of vocational students in Malang of Indonesia and was analyzed undergoing Structural Equation Modelling Partial Least Squares (SEM-PLS). This work confirms that students’ environment can explain the intention and students’ attitudes toward entrepreneurship. However, this study failed in explaining the role of entrepreneurship education and family education informing intention instead of stimulation students’ entrepreneurial attitude. This study’s surprising finding can be an initial opportunity to elaborate an appropriate model of entrepreneurship education for vocational schools.
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Entrepreneurship declines precipitously across generations in family firms, except in families that convey an entrepreneurial legacy to successors. However, because an entrepreneurial legacy is imprinted on all children, its impact should extend beyond successors. Inductive analysis of data from 26 nonsuccessor adult children from 13 multigenerational German wineries reveals that whether and where—at the firm, within the family’s portfolio of firms, or elsewhere—such adult children pursue entrepreneurship depends, in addition to having an entrepreneurial legacy, on family cohesiveness and flexibility. Implications are that whereas entrepreneurial legacies affect all children, whether and where children leverage their legacy depends on the business family behind the family firm.
Purpose The purpose of this study is to critically explore the linkage between adolescent work, parent–child relationships and offspring career choice outcomes in a family business context. It examines the aforementioned in light of the stay/go decision faced by adolescent family members. Design/methodology/approach Findings are derived from semi-structured interviews with 15 individuals from five Italian families operating family catering businesses in Yorkshire (UK). The approach represents a sample spanning four generations, designed to capture data from individuals who had experienced adolescent work at the family business. Findings The findings offer evidence that the “familiarity” of family business impacts on offspring career choices, providing a safety net or a trap which can impede exit decisions. Returning after periods of study leave that represent the transition from adolescence to adulthood, offspring continue to use the family business as a base from which to explore their career options. Alternatively, when parent–child relationships break down, family business escape strategies assume priority for offspring. Research limitations/implications The study focussed exclusively on migrant Italian families within the catering sector. The sample included different generational representations among the five families. It lays the ground for future research of a similar nature among other family business ethnicities and across other economic sectors. Originality/value This paper contributes to understanding offspring career choice outcomes in a family business context. The empirical evidence suggests that parent–child relationships are instrumental to understanding the stay/go decision as well as previous stages of the socialisation process of embedding in the family business.
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Youth unemployment reduces the capacity to achieve diverse markers of adulthood, potentially undermining the young adult’s sense of confidence and independence. While parents often come to the aid of their unemployed young adult children, such support may also have negative psychological repercussions. Applying a hierarchical modeling strategy to longitudinal data from the Youth Development Study, the authors find that both unemployment and parental financial support have negative consequences for youth’s self-efficacy. These common experiences may thus diminish youth’s personal psychological resources as they make the increasingly lengthy and precarious transition to adulthood.
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This study examined the relation between work-family conflict and several types of psychiatric disorders: mood, anxiety, substance dependence, and substance abuse. Survey data were obtained from a representative national sample of 2,700 employed adults who were either married or the parent of a child Ig years old or younger. Hierarchical logistic regression analyses revealed that both work to-family and family-to-work conflict were positively related to having a mood, anxiety, and substance dependence disorder. Depending on the type of wort-family conflict and type of disorder, employees who reported experiencing a work-family conflict often were 1.99-29.66 times more likely than were employees who reported no work-family conflict to experience a clinically significant mental health problem. No support was found for gender differences.
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PurposeTheories of income inequality frequently cite child and adolescent labor as a societal problem. In contrast to such theories, we propose that path dependency coupled with enhancement of human and social capital enables some adolescents who work to find more attractive jobs later in life. MethodologyUsing the longitudinal Youth in Transition Survey (YITS) spanning over 10 years, we find support for a positive relationship between adolescents’ number of work hours and future desirable professional outcomes such as being employed, income, person-organization fit, knowing where to look for a job, and career networking. FindingsThe positive relationship, in many instances, is curvilinear and highlights the downfall of working excessive hours. We also explore whether adolescent work for a stranger or family member leads to different outcomes, and find that working in a family business leads to enhanced later life utilization of career networks as well as better person-organization fit. Social implicationsWhile we find that adolescent work intensity is linked to positive later life outcomes such as higher income, better fitting jobs, and better career networks, we also find maxima whereby additional hours worked have a diminishing effect on the outcomes. This suggests the need for societal norms and/or laws to avoid excessive adolescent work. Value of chapterThe findings in this chapter shed light on the role of early life work experiences in future professional outcomes. We show that certain types of adolescent employment can enhance future career prospects, counter to much of the established literature on the detrimental impact of youth labor.
Family firm scholars often reference the legacy concerns or intentions of families when explaining strategic decision making in family firms. Yet, the concept of family legacy is not clearly defined or delineated in the literature. As such, we define and explore the family legacy construct from the integrated perspectives of psychosocial development and sense-making literatures. We identify three forms of family legacy: biological, material, and social. Further, we present the family and family firm legacy orientations as unique constructs, offering a theoretical model that proposes the linkages from these distinct orientations to strategic decision making and behavioral outcomes in family firms.