The new work world is filled with what the privileged class calls flexible schedules enabled by technology. But for those at the lower end of the economic ladder, these are called "non-standard" schedules -- which often means that they're on-call or must work late nights. There's also the new "just-in-time" schedules enabled by new technology that allow companies to pivot worker schedules around real-time demand, making work unpredictable and unreliable.
A new study by the Economic Policy Institute shows that workers in these situations are more likely to have their children experience impaired development -- with "inferior cognitive and behavioral outcomes." Toddlers whose mothers work non-standard hours "demonstrate worse sensory perception, memory, learning and problem solving." Thirteen- and 14-year-olds whose parents work nights had higher incidences of "smoking, alcohol use, delinquency and sexual activity." Non-standard hours are difficult to peg as the cause of these results, since non-standard hours are more typically worked by minorities and single parents for whom other risk factors also loom large.
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