ERIC Number: ED261804
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Maternal Employment and Young Children's Development: A Longitudinal Investigation.
Gottfried, Adele Eskeles; And Others
This multivariate, longitudinal study examined the role of mothers' employment with respect to children's cognitive and social development, children's home environment, and mothers' attitudes toward employment. A total of 130 middle class children and their mothers participated. Data on children's cognitive and social development, the home environment, maternal employment status, and family structure variables were collected from the children's first to fifth year of age. When their children were 1 year old, 36 percent of the mothers worked; when children were 5 years old, 56 percent were employed. At the child's fifth year, mothers were questioned regarding their work patterns, attitudes toward work, and perceptions of the influence of their employment on their children's development. Multiple regressions indicated that maternal employment status did not significantly predict children's development or home environment, whereas family structure variables were significant predictors. Mothers' attitudes were favorable, with the majority reporting a positive influence of employment on their child's development and family relationships. These data, in conjunction with previous longitudinal findings on home environment, indicate that the experiences to which children are exposed are important for development, regardless of maternal employment status. Results thus support a favorable view of maternal employment. Public policy implications are suggested. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (Los Angeles, CA, August 23-27, 1985).