NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours

Impacts on Families

Negative Impacts of Shift Work and Long Work Hours on Families86-96

  • Demanding work hours increase risk for sleep deprivation, which in turn can lead to fatigue and poor mood. These schedules also reduce quality time with family and friends. Bad mood and lack of quality time can put strains on personal relationships.
  • Several studies showed increased risk for work/family conflict and poor work/life balance.
  • These strains could increase risk for divorce and difficulties with family life, but only a few studies have shown an increased risk for marital difficulties and divorce for workers on non-standard work hours.89-93

Few studies examined the influence on child rearing. Some studies suggest long work hours for mothers adversely influence their children’s behavior and verbal ability,94,95 and one study suggested an associated increase in obesity of the children.96 However, one study reported potential benefits for families: fathers at home in the evenings while their wives worked were more active in their parenting role and built strong, positive relationships with their children.97

Module: 3, Page 25 of 28
Page last reviewed: March 31, 2020