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First-Year Maternal School Attendance and Children’s Cognitive Abilities at Age 5

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  • Joanne W. Golann

    (Princeton University)

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    Abstract

    Although there has been extensive research on the effects of early maternal employment on children’s outcomes, there have been surprisingly few studies examining the relationship between early maternal school attendance and children’s well-being, despite the fact that a large percentage of mothers return to school following the birth of their children. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 2,133), this study finds that mothers who attend four-year colleges or graduate schools in their children’s first year confer a significant advantage to their children’s cognitive development by age 5. Working while attending school does not appear to have any adverse effects on children. Contrary to expectations, no mediation effects are found for parenting or child care. Results imply that encouraging mothers to continue their education soon after their children’s births may be an effective strategy to improve the outcomes of both mothers and children.

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    File URL: http://crcw.princeton.edu/workingpapers/WP11-12-FF.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. in its series Working Papers with number 1315.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:pri:crcwel:wp11-12-ff

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    Related research

    Keywords: education; early childhood; intergenerational transfers; parenting; schools; Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing;

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    1. 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.
    2. Berger, Lawrence & Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne & Paxson, Christina & Waldfogel, Jane, 2008. "First-year maternal employment and child outcomes: Differences across racial and ethnic groups," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 365-387, April.
    3. Mark R. Rosenzweig & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1994. "Are There Increasing Returns to the Intergenerational Production of Human Capital? Maternal Schooling and Child Intellectual Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 670-693.
    4. Philip Oreopoulos & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2009. "How large are returns to schooling? Hint: Money isn't everything," NBER Working Papers 15339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother'S Education And The Intergenerational Transmission Of Human Capital: Evidence From College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532, November.
    6. Claessens, Amy & Duncan, Greg & Engel, Mimi, 2009. "Kindergarten skills and fifth-grade achievement: Evidence from the ECLS-K," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 415-427, August.
    7. Nancy Davis & Larry Bumpass, 1976. "The continuation of education after marriage among women in the United States: 1970," Demography, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 161-174, May.
    8. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
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