Maternal Employment: The Different Attitudes on Child Social Development

by vflor1 on October 24, 2013 - 3:20pm


Maternal Employment: The Different Attitudes on Child Social Development

            Many have done research on the relationship between mothers who work full time and stay home mothers, and how these different roles effect the social development of their newborn child. Different experiments have focused on different variables in each situation. What this article mainly focuses on is the psychological well being of mothers and its positive relation the child’s socioemotional outcome. Participants of the study were collected from ten different sites all over the United States. Participants had to reach certain requirements in order to take part in the study. After the 36 months, there were 1,213 that remained in the study rather than the 1,364 that were from the beginning. Mothers had to be older than 18, needed to speak English, and had to have healthy babies. Out of the mothers, 68.8% of them worked at least 22 hours per week. The conclusion of the experiment shows support that the developmental outcome is based on how the mothers evaluate their own child’s experiences of maternal absence due to employment.

            The main purpose of this article is to decide what should be studied in the case of child social development and maternal employment. There are so many factors that come into play in this issue. Most people try to only study a mother with consistent full time employment and a mother who is unemployed and stays at home with her new born. Over the years studies done using this method have led to many different outcomes. This article states that the psychological well being of mothers is really what shapes the child socioemotional outcome. If a mother wishes she could be working but instead is stuck home with the baby she is going to be more depressed. If a mother thinks being home is better for the child and does not want to be at work, her attitude can affect the baby’s attitude. The article mainly states that it is not necessarily the situation a mother is in, but the way the mother feels about that situation is going to affect the child’s socioemotional outcome.







Chang, Y. (2013). The relation between mothers' attitudes toward maternal employment and social competence of 36-month-olds: The roles of maternal psychological well-being and sensitivity. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 22(7), 987-999. doi:10.1007/s10826-012-9660-7


In two short paragraphs I found this post very informative. I think this subject is very controversial for everyone, obviously working mothers and stay at home mothers in particular. I wonder if the effect of the child's social life at school, such as how many of the child's friends are working/stay at home mothers could effect the child's development. If a child's mother is a stay at home mom while all of the same child's friends moms are working, could that child feel left out? I think the mother mood is definitely a factor in how the child's upbringing may effect it's social development. Great post, very interesting!

In addition to ^, my mother is a single parent, obviously she is a working mother. I know that throughout my childhood I ran into many children and friends that their parents did or didn't work however I don't think that it effected my social development at all... possibly because my mother DID work and her mood never seemed to effect me because I didn't see her much, she was always working.

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