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Rosalind Chait Barnett
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4th Annual Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA Invitational Journalism-Work/Family Conference
Brandeis University
Community, Families & Work Program
Boston University
College of Communication
May 12-13, 2005

2005 Conference Program: Schedule, Participants

It is becoming apparent that the ability of working families to manage their complicated lives depends on factors that are not always taken into account in mainstream research. These factors – some internal, some external – require careful study, especially today, when so many of these contexts are undergoing major shifts.

We now know that individual differences in personality, social support, and gender-role ideology affect the strategies that working families develop. In addition, national policies such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) affect the options available to working families; cross-cultural studies illuminate the effects that different policies have on working families. Finally, at the organizational level, such factors as work hours, shift work, and changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act that impact overtime rules and thus work hours have profound consequences for work and family life.

These issues need special attention by the media. Without such empirical input, there is a real risk that media coverage of work-family issues will have an unduly narrow perspective. We owe it to working families confronting new and often daunting challenges to provide them with the most objective and reliable information possible.

The 4th Annual Invitational Journalism-Work/Family Conference is one vehicle both for getting important information to the media and for allowing researchers to learn from journalists how to increase the likelihood that their findings will reach the widest possible audience.

Rosalind Chait Barnett, Ph.D. and Caryl Rivers, M.S.

2005 Conference Papers

Session I: The Role of Individual Difference Factors

Jody Heymann, Harvard University. Paper, Powerpoint
Julie Holliday Wayne, Wake Forest University. Paper, Powerpoint
Jacquelyn James, Boston College. Paper, Powerpoint

Session II: The Impact of Public Policy

Jane Waldfogel, Columbia University. Paper, Powerpoint
Sandra Danziger, University of Michigan. Paper, Powerpoint
Jane Gornick, Baruch College. Paper, Powerpoint

Session III: The Effect of Current Organizational Pressures

Harriet Presser, University of Maryland. Paper, Powerpoint
Karen Gareis, Brandeis University. Paper, Powerpoint
Lonnie Golden, Pennsylvania State University. Paper, Powerpoint