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J Prim Care Community Health. 2014 Apr 1;5(2):122-7. doi: 10.1177/2150131913504590. Epub 2013 Sep 26.

Working conditions and parents' ability to care for children's preventive health needs.

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  • 1Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA.



To determine whether workplace flexibility policies influence parents' ability to meet their children's preventive primary health care needs.


Study sample included 917 employed adults with at least 1 child younger than 18 years in their household from a nationally representative survey of US adults. Multivariate logistic regression analyses of factors influencing parental ability to meet their children's preventive primary health care needs were conducted. Analyses assessed the effect of having access to schedule flexibility, a supervisor who is accommodating about work adjustments when family issues arise, and the ability to make personal calls without consequences on the odds of a parents' being unable to meet their child's preventive health care needs.


Being able to make a personal phone call at work was associated with a 56% (P < .05) reduction in the odds of being unable to meet children's preventive health needs. Working at a job that allowed for schedule adjustments was associated with more than 40% (P < .05) lower odds of being unable to meet preventive care needs.


Feasible steps to increase flexibility at work could make a substantial difference in parents' ability to obtain preventive care for their children.


parental employment; prevention; primary care; schedule flexibility; well-child care; work schedule

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