Working Mothers and the Effects
On Their Children
Working Mothers and the Effects on Their Children
Since the 1950s, employment rates among women with children have risen dramatically. The effects of early maternal employment on children are innumerable, and there are several possible solutions to this problem. This essay will address the causes of the rise in maternal employment, the effects of early maternal employment on children, and some solutions that are beginning to emerge into the professional world, quickly gaining popularity. Essentially, it is the opinion of this student that maternal employment is the most significant change the American family has experienced.
Some facts exist about the rise in maternal employment in the last six or so decades. In 2006, 79 percent of women were included in the labor force, up from 37 percent in 1950 (Casper & Bianchi, 2002, p. 285). Additionally, according to Casper and Bianchi (2002), labor force participation is and was higher among unmarried women than among those who were married (p. 287). Han (2001) notes that due to reforms in the welfare system, “even more mothers will be working in the labor market before their child’s first birthday” and that the concern is that such early maternal employment has negative and lasting effects on the lives of those children (p. 336).
Also according to Han (2001), test scores are lower (as also shown in previous studies) in children whose mothers worked before the fourth quarter of the child’s first year of life but that test scores were not notably impacted in those children whose mothers waited until the fourth quarter of the child’s life to return to work (p. 341). Studies also show that having a working mother decreased test scored in math and reading in ages 5 to 6 and ages 7 to 8 (p. 341). Han’s study also noted several aspects of working mothers in researching the effects of maternal employment, such as: the effects...