Nonstandard work schedules in the UK: What are the implications for parental mental health and relationship happiness? By: Zilanawala, Afshin and McMunn, Anne. 2024. Community, Work & Family. Vol. 27 Issue 1, p54-77.

This article investigates the associations between nonstandard work schedules, parents’ mental health, and couple relationship happiness across childhood using the Millennium Cohort Study, a longitudinal, population-based data set of births in the UK. Using individual fixed effects models, we investigated the relationship between maternal and paternal nonstandard work schedules, examining both separate and joint work schedules and mental health and relationship happiness. Although we did not observe any associations between mothers’ nonstandard work schedules and their mental health, we did find regularly working night schedules were associated with lower relationship happiness, and particularly so during the school-age period. Fathers’ evening and weekend work schedules were associated with worse mental health. The joint work schedule in which mothers worked a standard scheduleand fathers worked nonstandard schedules was associated with lower relationship happiness for mothers and worse mental health for fathers. These results demonstrate the salience of incorporating fathers’ work schedules to understand the challenges and benefits to families of nonstandard work schedules. Our study also emphasizes the significance of investigating the family consequences of nonstandard work schedules in different country contexts.