First-Year Maternal School Attendance and Children’s Cognitive Abilities at Age 5
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.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2011|
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3536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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