Reciprocal influence between professional activity and family life: perceptions of fathers/mothers

OBJECTIVE: To measure the influence, both of family life upon professional activity and of professional activity upon family life. METHODS: A quantitative, descriptive, exploratory study, using a questionnaire with two versions - male and female - with a sample of 92 couples with children younger than six years, living in Rio Grande City - RS. RESULTS: We found that physical and mental fatigue related to working conditions influenced family chores, causing discouragement and irritability. Men presented major concerns regarding the limited time available to the family due to professional responsibilities. Viewed as very influential for family support, dialogue contributed to the resolution of professional problems and creation of an environment that was conducive to addressing the family challenges impacted by work. The parents felt that family life did not affect career, but reported the influence of thinking about the family at work. CONCLUSION: Few influences were identified that affected the balance between family life and professional activity, which, in general, contradicted other studies in the literature.

Family relations; Work; Preschool


Escola Paulista de Enfermagem, Universidade Federal de São Paulo R. Napoleão de Barros, 754, 04024-002 São Paulo - SP/Brasil, Tel./Fax: (55 11) 5576 4430 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: ape@unifesp.br