Research Shows Parents Lacking Control At Work, More Controlling At Home

by | July 16, 2018

Are you more controlling at home?


Working for someone else usually involves losing some measure of control, if it is following timed hourly reports, adhering to a time schedule or having to dress a certain way. Yet, research now shows, that parents who work for more stringent workplaces, where micromanaging by employers or managers, who stress their employees into unhappy situations that they have little control over their daily activities, affects their parenting abilities, leading them to be more controlling at home.

Adam Grant, a psychologist at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Author of Originals, states that by treating employees in such a way, will in effect making them take their work home with them, in an effort to reclaim their autonomy.


Grant writes:

Deprive people of control at work, and they become more controlling at home. But give people choices about what to work on — or how, when and where to do it — and they become better parents. Creating jobs that allow for self-direction, for independent thought and judgment, can make people more supportive and flexible at home.


controlling at homeGrant, using research from sociologists from Melvin Kohn and Carmi Schooler – shows that mostly men, who had little control over their daily work life, are more than likely to use authoritarian parenting styles, including a belief that their offspring should submit total control to them as the parental unit and sole decision maker in the family. The authors concluded that “job affects man more than man affects job”.


It is of course, possible that employees would seek out these types of positions, or practice this type of parenting due to their personality types. Yet, the duo did follow up with participates a decade after the initial study, and found that the majority of participants had reversed their views regarding parenting – with their employment with more choice, did change their views, and not being more controlling at home. With being told “just get it done” somehow translated to “because I said so” at home.

Grant does note that the assembly line model of work is still standard today, and has simply just moved from the manufacturing business to the service industry, with millennials wanting a better balance between work and family life.

If people do not feel they have some autonomy and agency over their professional lives, they may well take it out on their kids.

controlling at home

This story first appeared in Work QZ 


Raise Vegan

Associate Editor, USA | Contactable via [email protected]



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