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Work Family Life

The Work.Family.Life  project is a long-term applied research project studying how individuals manage the domains of work and family.  Our research addresses a range of work and family questions, but our primary emphasis is on the challenges faced by marginalized populations including workers in poverty, immigrant workers, formerly incarcerated workers, members of the LGBTQ community, parents of children with disabilities, and single working parents. Our overall goal is to learn about the unique work and family challenges faced in these communities so that optima solutions can be developed.

Why workers in poverty?

Managing the balance between work and family responsibilities is a challenge for many Americans, and a major source of stress. These challenges are greatest for workers who are in part-time, temporary, and low wage positions while trying to support a family. The consequences from struggles to manage responsibilities include sacrifices to family and childcare, poor nutrition, negative physical and psychological health outcomes, and even job loss and homelessness. This issue is particularly relevant in the Inland Empire, where 65% of working adults occupy a low wage position. Despite these severe consequences, researchers are only beginning to understand the challenges faced by low-income workers, and few organizational solutions exist.  The goals of the WFL project are to learn about the challenges faced by low-income workers and partner with organizations and policy makers to design and implement effective solutions.

Our Team

The Work.Family.Life project operates under the direction of Dr. Mark Agars and is supported by his team of graduate and undergraduate students (pictured below). Since its inception, the project has served as a training opportunity for dozens of students including several who have completed a Masters Thesis or Honor’s project doing critical research on work and family. Many of these students have gone on to pursue a Ph.D. in the field. The WFL project would not be possible without strong community partners including Catholic Charities of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, and The San Bernardino County Community Action Partnership.


To learn more about the WFL project or explore partnership opportunities, please contact Dr. Mark Agars