Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Tammy D. Allen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Paul Spector, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael Coovert, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Vicky Phares, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Himmelgreen, Ph.D.


work-interference with family, eating, fruits, vegetables, snacks, household coping strategies, BMI, feeding, modeling


There were two primary aims of the present study. The first aim was to examine the relationships between work-interference-with-family (WIF) and specific eating behaviors (eating vegetables, fruits, snack foods) reported by employed mothers, as it relates to health criteria such as BMI. Related to this first aim, household coping strategies were proposed as playing a significant role in the relationship between WIF and eating behaviors. The second aim was to investigate the crossover of WIF to specific child eating behaviors via mother feeding practices or mother eating behaviors.

Self-report and other-report survey data were collected from working mothers and their children (recruited from the YMCA Afterschool Program in Hillsborough County), yielding a sample of 262 employed mothers and 238 mother-child dyads. Mother self-report results supported a negative relationship between WIF and mother eating vegetables on work days, but no relationships emerged for eating fruits or snack foods. Regarding the role of coping in the context of the WIF - eating behavior relationship, results were more supportive of a suppression effect than of a moderating effect of coping. There was no support for an indirect relationship between WIF and BMI via eating behaviors.

Analysis of the crossover hypotheses revealed support for a negative association between WIF and the mother's feeding practices (monitoring behaviors), but no evidence was found for the hypothesized meditational relationships between mother WIF and child eating behavior (via mother eating and mother feeding) using multisource data. However, the results of supplementary analyses using only mother-report data supported several of the meditational crossover relationships. The results have implications for theoretical development and future research in the growing area of work-family and health. Major findings regarding WIF and specific eating behaviors, coping, and mother vs. child report are discussed.