The impact of adolescent work on parent-child relationships: A multi-generational approach among hospitality family businesses

TELLING, Richard and MARTIN, Emma (2023). The impact of adolescent work on parent-child relationships: A multi-generational approach among hospitality family businesses. Hospitality and Society.

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Business owning parents face the decision of whether to involve their own children in the family business. Employing family members for little or no wages is widely documented in the hospitality and tourism industries, though children’s role in such businesses is often missing from the literature. This paper seeks to address this gap by exploring parental motives for involving children in the family business and the impact of such decisions on parent-child relationships in later life. The paper adopts a multi-generational approach, comparing both parent’s and children’s accounts of adolescent work performed at the family business. The research findings are based on semi-structured interviews with 19 individuals across five restaurant owning families. The paper concludes that parental motives for adolescent work are a composition of convenience, economic gain, and an attempt to educate the next generation. We further argue that adolescent work serves as an ‘imprinting’ mechanism and demonstrate that children perceive their family business involvement to be a purely economic endeavour when their parents neglect to practice imprinting. The research findings indicate that when this happens, offspring recall their adolescent work experience negatively and it is detrimental to parent-child relationships. The originality of the paper stems from the research findings which are based on interviews among adults who recalled their past experiences of adolescent work, thus allowing the longer lasting impact of adolescent work on parent-child relationships to be explored, whereas previous work adopting a similar focus has been conducted among adolescents.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: child labour; adolescent work; family business; imprinting; parent-child relationships; multi-generational approach
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2022 17:00
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2024 01:18

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