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Wie hängen familiäre Veränderungen und das mütterliche Wohlbefinden mit der frühkindlichen Entwicklung zusammen?


  • Eva M. Berger
  • Frauke H. Peter
  • C. Katharina Spieß


Research in educational economics has shown that parental quality explains a large proportion of the variance in early childhood development. This paper uses the representative SOEP data to study the connection between early childhood development and objective as well as subjective indicators reflecting the quality of the parental environment. As objective indicators for the quality of the family environment, we use changes in the family structure and in the mother's employment status, and as subjective indicators the mother's life satisfaction and mental health. The results show lower scale values for the adaptive behavior of children whose mothers were not employed continuously after giving birth. Children of mothers who changed partners several times display more problematic socio-emotional behavior. A mother's subjective wellbeing is positively correlated with both her children's adaptive behavior (especially language skills) and their socio-emotional behavior. Our results therefore provide important evidence that early childhood interventions should always address not just the quality of the institutional framework, but crucially also the quality of the family environment. Aus der bildungsökonomischen Forschung ist bekannt, dass die Qualität des familialen Settings einen bedeutenden Teil der Varianz in der frühkindlichen Entwicklung erklärt. Dieser Beitrag untersucht auf der Basis der repräsentativen SOEP-Daten den Zusammenhang zwischen frühkindlichen Entwicklungsmaßen und objektiven sowie subjektiven Indikatoren zur Abbildung der Qualität des familialen Umfelds. Als objektive Indikatoren für die Qualität des familialen Settings werden Veränderungen in der Familienstruktur und im Erwerbsstatus der Mutter, als subjektive Indikatoren die Lebenszufriedenheit und die mentale Gesundheit der Mutter verwendet. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass das adaptive Verhalten von Kindern, deren Mutter seit der Geburt kontinuierlich nicht erwerbstätig waren, geringere Skalenwerte aufweist. Kinder von Muttern mit mehreren Partnerwechseln weisen ein problematischeres sozio-emotionales Verhalten auf. Das subjektive Wohlbefinden einer Mutter ist sowohl mit dem adaptiven Verhalten (insbesondere sprachlichen Fähigkeiten) als auch dem sozio-emotionalen Verhalten von Kindern positiv korreliert. Damit geben unsere Ergebnisse wichtige Hinweise darauf, dass frühkindliche Interventionen sowie Bildungs- und Betreuungseinrichtungen neben der Qualität des institutionellen Settings immer auch die Qualität des familialen Settings im Blick haben sollten.

Suggested Citation

  • Eva M. Berger & Frauke H. Peter & C. Katharina Spieß, 2010. "Wie hängen familiäre Veränderungen und das mütterliche Wohlbefinden mit der frühkindlichen Entwicklung zusammen?," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 79(3), pages 27-44.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:79-3-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marco Francesconi & Stephen Jenkins & Thomas Siedler, 2010. "Childhood family structure and schooling outcomes: evidence for Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(3), pages 1073-1103, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea M. Mühlenweg & Franz G. Westermaier & Brant Morefield, 2016. "Parental health and child behavior: evidence from parental health shocks," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 577-598, September.
    2. Franz Westermaier & Brant Morefield & Andrea Mühlenweg, 2013. "Impacts of Parental Health Shocks on Children’s NonCognitive Skills," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201312, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    3. Blomeyer Dorothea & Laucht Manfred & Coneus Katja & Pfeiffer Friedhelm, 2013. "Early Life Adversity and Children’s Competence Development: Evidence from the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(4), pages 467-485, August.
    4. Morefield, Brant & Mühlenweg, Andrea M. & Westermaier, Franz, 2011. "Impacts of parental health on children's development of personality traits and problem behavior: Evidence from parental health shocks," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-049, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item


    Child outcomes; family status; maternal employment; life satisfaction; maternal health;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid


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