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Parental employment, family routines and childhood obesity

  • Anderson, Patricia M.

Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey-Kindergarten Class of 1998–1999 (ECLS-K) data from kindergarten through eighth grade, this paper investigate the relationships among maternal employment, family routines and obesity. More hours worked by the mother tend to be negatively related to positive routines like eating meals as a family or at regular times, or having family rules about hours of television watched. Many of these same routines are significantly related to the probability of being obese, implying that family routines may be a mechanism by which maternal employment intensity affects children's obesity. However, inclusion of family routines in the obesity regression does not appreciably change the estimated effect of maternal employment hours. Thus, the commonly estimated deleterious effect of maternal employment on children's obesity cannot be explained by family routines, leaving the exact mechanisms an open question for further exploration.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X12000627
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 10 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 340-351

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:10:y:2012:i:4:p:340-351
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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  1. Chris M. Herbst & Erdal Tekin, 2009. "Child Care Subsidies and Childhood Obesity," NBER Working Papers 15007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2008. "Maternal employment and adolescent development," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 958-983, October.
  3. Courtemanche Charles, 2009. "Longer Hours and Larger Waistlines? The Relationship between Work Hours and Obesity," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-33, May.
  4. Angela Fertig & Gerhard Glomm & Rusty Tchernis, 2006. "The Connection Between Maternal Employment and Childhood Obesity: Inspecting the Mechanisms," Caepr Working Papers 2006-020, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  5. Cawley, John & Liu, Feng, 2012. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity: A search for mechanisms in time use data," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 352-364.
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