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First-year maternal employment and child outcomes: Differences across racial and ethnic groups

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Author Info

  • Berger, Lawrence
  • Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne
  • Paxson, Christina
  • Waldfogel, Jane

Abstract

We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine associations between first-year maternal employment and child outcomes for 3-year-old White, Black, and Hispanic children (N = 1483). Results from OLS regressions and propensity score matching models indicate that first-year maternal employment is associated with lower vocabulary scores for White, but not Black or Hispanic, children and with elevated levels of behavior problems for Hispanic, but not White or Black, children. Factors such as type of child care, maternal depressive symptoms and stress, and parenting behaviors (including measures of discipline, nurturance, and provision of cognitively stimulating materials) do not mediate these associations between first-year maternal employment and children's outcomes or explain the differential associations across racial and ethnic groups, suggesting the need to look at other explanations for these associations, as well as the need for better measurement of parenting, especially mother-child interaction.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

Volume (Year): 30 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 365-387

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Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:30:y:2008:i:4:p:365-387

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/childyouth

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References

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  1. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  2. Matthew J. Neidell, 2000. "Early Parental Time Investments In Children's Human Capital Development: Effects Of Time In The First Year On Cognitive And Non-Cognitive Outcomes," UCLA Economics Working Papers 806, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Helen Raikes & Gayle Luze & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn & H. Abigail Raikes & Barbara Alexander Pan & Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda & Jill Constantine & Louisa Banks Tarullo & Eileen T. Rodriguez, 2006. "Mother-Child Bookreading in Low-Income Families: Correlates and Outcomes During the First Three Years of Life," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 5039, Mathematica Policy Research.
  4. Reichman, Nancy E. & Teitler, Julien O. & Garfinkel, Irwin & McLanahan, Sara S., 2001. "Fragile Families: sample and design," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 303-326.
  5. Jane Waldfogel & Wen-Jui Han & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, 2002. "The effects of early maternal employment on child cognitive development," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 369-392, May.
  6. Sonalde Desai & P. Chase-Lansdale & Robert Michael, 1989. "Mother or Market? Effects of Maternal Employment on the Intellectual Ability of 4-Year-Old Children," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 545-561, November.
  7. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 7666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Francine D. Blau & Adam J. Grossberg, 1990. "Maternal Labor Supply and Children's Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 3536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Susanne James-Burdumy, 2005. "The Effect of Maternal Labor Force Participation on Child Development," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 177-211, January.
  10. Susanna Loeb & Margaret Bridges & Bruce Fuller & Russ Rumberger & Daphna Bassok, 2005. "How Much is Too Much? The Influence of Preschool Centers on Children's Social and Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 11812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Charles L. Baum II, 2003. "Does Early Maternal Employment Harm Child Development? An Analysis of the Potential Benefits of Leave Taking," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 381-408, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Pinka Chatterji & Sara Markowitz & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, 2011. "Early Maternal Employment and Family Wellbeing," NBER Working Papers 17212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Libertad Gonzalez & Tarja Viitanen, 2009. "The Long Term Effects of Legalizing Divorce on Children," Working Papers 0901, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2009.
  3. MacKenzie, Michael J. & Nicklas, Eric & Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne & Waldfogel, Jane, 2011. "Who spanks infants and toddlers? Evidence from the fragile families and child well-being study," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1364-1373, August.
  4. Joanne W. Golann, 2011. "First-Year Maternal School Attendance and Children’s Cognitive Abilities at Age 5," Working Papers 1315, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  5. Audrey Beck & Carlos González-Sancho, 2009. "Educational Assortative Mating and Children’s School Readiness," Working Papers 1142, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  6. Zhai, Fuhua & Waldfogel, Jane & Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne, 2013. "Estimating the effects of Head Start on parenting and child maltreatment," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1119-1129.

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