Institute director Professor Alan Hayes says the study shows Australian children are affected by the spillover of parents work-related worry or stress into family time.
He says finding a way of meeting the demands of paid work, as well as taking care of children, is proving difficult for many parents.
Prof Hayes said it underlined the need for workplaces to adopt more flexible approaches to allow their employees to enjoy family life.
A study of 10 and 11-year-olds with a working mother or father found that 35 per cent felt their father worked too much, while 27 per cent said their mother worked too much.
Parents were also feeling the pressure, with 23 per cent of mothers saying that work made family time less enjoyable and more pressured.
When mothers said work made family time less fun, the children tended to agree with them.
The research is from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children and released as part of 2012 National Families Week.