Saturday, July 31, 2010

Study looks at effect of first year full time maternal employment on children (argument for "stay-at-home moms?")

A study “First-Year Maternal Employment and Child Development in the First 7 Years” conducted at Columbia University for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, found that, as a whole, full time employment for mothers within the first year of birth is not necessarily harmful to child development, although in some families mild developmental effects on infants might occur because of less intense and continual interaction with the mother. That could be offset by higher income and the ability to hire high quality outside help.

Daniel De Vise wrote a news story about the Washington Post on Saturday July 31 here.

The study was not yet available at the NIH site. But there is a similar study there now about the effect on children of combat deployment of parents, especially mothers, here.

There have been similar studies, such as this one in Tennessee (link)  or this NICHD study in 2007 looking at race and ethnic group comparisons, here.

When I was growing up, the “stay-at-home mom” was the social norm, as was mine. During my period of heterosexual dating in 1971, it seemed that women that I had met generally wanted to stay home. This may seem like an odd way to look at things to many (and this comment should not be taken personally), but it did not make sense to me that someone who would be that “dependent” would be “worthy of interest”. But I did not relate to the idea that a biological lineage would be “mine”.

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