Combining childrearing with work: do maternal employment experiences compromise child development

Heather Joshi, University of London
Elizabeth Cooksey, Ohio State University
Georgia Verropoulou, University of Piraeus
Elizabeth Menaghan, Ohio State University
Nikos Tzavidis, University of Manchester

Using longitudinal panel study data from both Great Britain (BCS70) and the United States (NLSY79) we explore how various aspects of maternal employment during the first few years of a child’s life might impact the cognitive and behavioral development of children as they move through early and middle childhood, and into early adolescence. Both the UK and the US have seen a substantial increase in the employment of mothers with young children in recent years although due to different maternity leave policies in the two countries, American mothers tend to return to employment after a shorter period than British mothers. We investigate both patterns of maternal employment and the nature of that employment, and utilize multi-level, multivariate modeling to examine how mother’s labour force involvement during early childhood might be associated with various child outcomes that are complementary across the two countries.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 163: Family context and work-life balance