Study Findings on Impacts of Working Mothers During Infancy on Children’s Later Development

In terms of the impacts of maternal employment during infancy on children's intellectual development, according to the results of three studies, maternal employment has different influences on children's development according to family income.

For middle-income families, maternal employment of above 30 hours per week in the first 9 months has negative impacts on children's mental developmental outcomes at age 3 after controlling for the factors of quality of child care and home environment. 

For lower-income families, early maternal employment is associated with better children's math scores, and recent maternal employment is associated with better children's reading achievement. It is probably due to the increasing family income which can offset the negative effect of maternal employment.

For higher-income families, maternal employment during infancy is associated with lower boys' intellectual abilities at age 4. However, there are neither negative nor positive impacts on girls' intellectual abilities. This is probably because boys are more sensitive to the environmental factors which impact their development.  

In terms of the impacts of maternal employment in infancy on children's social emotional development, according to the findings of one study, maternal employment (in general regardless of family income) in the first two years is associated with more noncompliant children at age 4-6 years.

Created on November 21 2015 at 08: 00 AM

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1: "Maternal Employment And Child Cognitive Outcomes In The First Three Years Of Life: The Nichd Study Of Early Child Care," Child Development, 2002, by J Brooks-Gunn, WJ Han, J Waldfogel. (Citations: 548).

With increased numbers of women employed in their children's first year of life and with increased attention being paid by parents and policy makers to the importance of early experiences for children, establishing the links that might exist between early maternal ...


1: "Effects Of Early And Recent Maternal Employment On Children From Lowincome Families," Child Development, 1992, by DL Vandell, J Ramanan. (Citations: 285).

VANDELL, DEBORAH LOWE, and RAMANAN, JANAKI. Effects of Early and Recent Maternal Employ-ment on Children from Low-Income Families. CHILD DEVELOPMENT, 1992, 63, 938-949. The eflects of early maternal employment (employment during the ...


1: "Mother Or Market? Effects Of Maternal Employment On The Intellectual Ability Of 4-Year-Old Children," Demography, 1989, by S Desai, PL Chase-Lansdale, RT Michael. (Citations: 437).

Abstract This article uses the 1986 Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data set to investigate the impact of maternal employment on children's intellectual ability, as measured at the age of 4 by using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT). Results ...


1: "Early And Extensive Maternal Employment And Young Children'S Socioemotional Development: Children Of The National Longitudinal Survey Of Youth," Journal Of Marriage And The Family, 1991, by J Belsky, D Eggebeen. (Citations: 600).

With the use of information pertaining to maternal employment, child care, and the socioemotional development of children from four to six years old whose mothers were studied as part of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the effects of early and ...

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Study Findings on Impacts of Working Mothers During Infancy on Children’s Later Development

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