Emotional labour in the parenthood





emotional labour, emotion regulation, parenting


This study introduces the concept of emotional labour, the theoretical underpinnings of its delineation and connections to emotion regulation and brings it into the context of parenthood. Emotional labour was originally described by sociologists in the context of a work environment which requires one to consciously influence one’s emotions when interacting with a customer or a client. The connection of emotional labour with psychological theories of emotion regulation allowed for a better understanding and grasp the mechanisms through which emotional labour can lead to “burning out” or stress. Currently, parents are exposed to a great amount of information about how to “correctly” parent their children, which together with their own idea of a good parent, the influence of their family and close friends as well as other people, creates high demands precisely in the area of experiencing and expressing emotions in their interactions with their children. Today, the parent role approaches that of the job in several aspects. Its demands for emotional labour can be linked to negative impacts on mental health. The concept of emotional labour can be considered to be appropriate for a better understanding of what a parent experiences with the child in mundane situations and how parents handle the emotions. The perspective of emotional labour can therefore bring important information about emotions in parenthood and about the influence of intentionally working with these emotions on the mental functioning of parents even beyond the explanatory confines of emotion regulation. This study also introduces measurement instruments used to capture emotional labour and its dimensions. For future research of emotional labour in parenthood, creating a valid and reliable instrument, which has so far been lacking both in the Czech and international contexts, is a necessity.




How to Cite

Daňsová, P., Lacinová, L., & Seryjová Juhová, D. (2021). Emotional labour in the parenthood . Československá Psychologie, 65(3), 222-238. https://doi.org/10.51561/cspsych.65.3.222