29 J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare 29 (2002)
I Raised My Kids on the Bus: Transit Shift Workers' Coping Strategies for Parenting

handle is hein.journals/jrlsasw29 and id is 423 raw text is: I Raised My Kids on the Bus: Transit Shift
Workers' Coping Strategies for Parenting
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
School of Social Work
The study investigated coping strategies for parenting of transit shift work-
ers, an urban, blue-collar, primarily ethnic minority population. It involved
a qualitative, grounded theory approach, using individual interviews with
30 San Francisco bus drivers.
The principal aspect of the job impacting transit workers' relationships
with their children was the lack of time they had together. Drivers had to
be creative to find ways to care for their children. They could not rely
exclusively on formal child care because hours at childcare centers did
not match their job schedules. Coping strategies for care included taking
children on the bus, working shifts complementary to those of spouses,
using siblings as surrogate parents, substituting material gifts for time,
and separating work from family.
Future research cannot group shift work as one composite. Shift-
working doctors and nurses experience different working conditions from
those of bus drivers that may lead to variations in parental caring. Policy
suggestions include child care services and shorter shifts.
Introduction: Shift Work, Transit
Work and Family Relationships
How do male and female city bus drivers who work 10 to 12
hours a day engage with the process of raising children? This pa-
per describes a case study of shift-working bus drivers--or transit
operators, as they prefer to be called-in dual-income families
in the city of San Francisco. It draws on existing literature in the
areas of work and family, shift work, transit work, their respective
relationships to family, and the new concept of cultures of care,
Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, September, 2002, Volume XXIX, Number 3

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