Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Criminology and Justice Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Law

First Advisor

Dr Pamela Henry

Abstract

A qualitative study of mothers' and fathers' experiences of parenting in a fly-in fly-out employment arrangement was undertaken. Eight mothers were interviewed individually to investigate their experiences of parenting. Five fathers also participated in individual interviews to examine their experiences of parenting and to substantiate those of mothers. The findings indicated that mothers were subjected to a range of conditions that would not, in the normal course of events, be experienced by mothers with partners in home-based occupations. These circumstances imposed additional stresses on families, but more particularly on mothers. In family systems theory parental stress inevitably resonates throughout the entire family. Coping strategies may seriously deplete parental resources that could ultimately lead to a breakdown in the marital relationship. Although it was generally perceived that there were no detrimental effects on children's wellbeing overall, some children did manifest negative reactions directly attributed by a parent to father absences. As the scope of this research did not include an examination of differences in maternal coping strategies or specific parenting practices, future research could examine how these factors might account for differences in both mothers' and children's ability to cope.

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