ERIC Number: EJ731867
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Parental Leave and Work Adaptation at the Transition to Parenthood: Individual, Marital, and Social Correlates
Feldman, Ruth; Sussman, Amy L.; Zigler, Edward
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, v25 n4 p459-479 Jul-Aug 2004
This study examined individual, marital, and social--contextual factors associated with the length of maternity and paternity leave and the parents' work adaptation at the transition to parenthood. Ninety-eight dual-earner parents of 3- to 5-month-old infants were surveyed following the mother's return to work. A shorter maternity leave (less than 12 weeks) was associated with higher maternal depression, lower parental preoccupation with the infant, less knowledge of infant development, more negative impact of birth on self-esteem and marriage, and higher career centrality. Fathers took an average of 6.5 days as paternity leave and longer leaves were related to positive employer reaction, higher paternal preoccupation with infant, more marital support, and higher family salience. Mothers' work adaptation was related to shorter work hours, higher marital support, lower depression, and career centrality, whereas marital support and career centrality predicted fathers' work adaptation. Shorter parental leave combined with perceived low-quality childcare predicted lower parental adjustment to the work role. Risk indicators at the transition to dual-earner parenthood and implications for social policy are discussed.
Descriptors: Fathers, Depression (Psychology), Mothers, Employed Parents, Family Work Relationship, Child Care, Infants, Leaves of Absence, Adjustment (to Environment), Birth
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A