A Theoretical Synthesis of Telecommuting and Incidence of Family Violence
Rogers, Watson Frank
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The rapid advancement of computer and telecommunications technology has made working in the home a practicality. Dubbed ?telecommuting,? this manner of work describes a circumstance where the employee, through the use of some form of telecommunications device (most often a computer with some form of modem), works at a location other than a centralized office (Hill, Hawkings & Miller, 1996). In many cases, the location of work is the home. Current estimates place the number of telecommuters in the United States at 19.6 million and growing (Swoboda & Grimsley, 2000). However, while emphasis has been placed on the positive consequences of telework, thus far little attention has been given to the latent negative consequences of telecommuting. The focus of this work is to develop a theoretical paradigm that explains how telecommuting may potentially contribute to abuse in home. The types of abuse targeted by the theoretical paradigm are: child, spouse, and elder abuse. In particular this model helps identify those telecommuters who are at greatest risk for the perpetration of abuse. This model is informed by a stress paradigm of abuse and identifies five variables that are considered to be crucial in affecting violent outcomes among telecommuters: 1.) socioeconomic status / occupational status; 2.) gender; 3.) crowding; 4.) social isolation; and, 5.) boundary control. How these variables interact within the telecommuting paradigm is described. Ultimately this work serves as a platform from which future empirical research may be conducted.
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