International Journal of Social Welfare
July 15th, 2021
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THEME: Challenges for family and child wellbeing in the new era 

Dr. Jianghong Li, Senior Researcher, the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Germany Dr. Anna Rönkä, Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Jyväskylä, Finland Dr. Wen-Jui Han, Professor, Silver School of Social Work, New York University, USA 

We witness rising social inequality and an increasingly competitive, precarious and polarized labor  market in the era of an increasingly globalized and digitalized economy. At one end of the polarization,  many skilled and highly skilled workers work long hours (>45 hours per week), work with high intensity,  and work unsociable schedules (evenings, nights and weekends). At the other end of the polarization,  non- and semi-skilled workers struggle to secure adequate employment and income. Many workers in  this rank also work unsociable hours, and increasingly work unpredictable and precarious schedules (e.g., on-call, rotating, variable, irregular shifts) under the so-called “platform economy.” Some must  work multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. These labor market trends have negative implications  for working parents and their children, particularly those from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds. 

The current public health crisis only widens these social inequalities. The impact of the COVID-19  pandemic has hit hard not only on low-wage low-skilled workers but also on the lower middle working  class who hold stable jobs. Nonetheless, workers who hold precarious jobs (e.g., irregular work hours,  and high instability) have been hit the hardest, as evident in the United States, Europe, and across the  globe. 

This Special Issue aims to showcase scholarly research that addresses formidable challenges confronting  millions of working families and their children in the new era of rising inequality and under the COVID-19  crisis. We invite papers that examine the connection between both parents’ employment (e.g.,  unsociable, unpredictable, and precarious schedules and long working hours) and 1) developmental  outcomes in children and adolescents (e.g., physical health, sleep, nutrition, social and emotional  wellbeing, and academic performance), and 2) family well-being (e.g., work-family balance, satisfaction  with family and work life). Papers that analyze longitudinal data, examine mechanisms (e.g., parental  health and wellbeing, parenting) and moderators (e.g., income, family structure, migrant families,  availability and quality of ECEC/childcare, macro-level factors) informed by multidisciplinary  perspectives are especially welcome. Given the evolving nature of the current public health crisis,  papers using cross-sectional data that may, nevertheless, enhance our understanding of the impact of  the current crisis on family and children’s well-being are also welcomed. Papers using either,  quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods are welcome.  

To be considered for this Special Issue, please submit an abstract with 500 words or less. References  are allowed and will not count toward 500-word limit. The abstract should be in a structured format and  include the following:

  • Background and Purpose: description of the problem, study objectives, research question(s)  and/or hypothesis (es). 
  • Methods: study design, including a description of participants and sampling methods, data  collection procedures, measures, and appropriate analytic/ statistical approach. Preliminary Results: specific results in summary form. 
  • Conclusions and Implications: description of the main outcome(s) of the study and implications  for practice, policy, or further research. 

Proposed Deadline to Submit Abstract: July 15, 2021 

Proposed Deadline to Inform Accepted Abstracts: August 10, 2021 

Proposed Deadline to Submit Final Paper: November 15, 2021. 

Please submit the abstract to:

Please submit any inquires to with the Subject title clearly labeled as “Inquires for  the Call for Special Issue on Challenges for Family and Child Wellbeing in the New Era”.