EFFECTS OF MATERNAL EMPLOYMENT ON CHILDREN
Families are the foundation of the society. The main function of the family is having and raising children. Having children not only expands families, it also strengthens and renews society. Parents’ greatest responsibility to society is socialization and well-being of children. It provides continuation and supports health of society. All members of the families are interdependent. As a result, mother’s choice to be employed directly affects ability of the family to insure well-being of children. There are several ways why and how maternal employment might influence children. Child well-being is a result of time and money investments made by ...view middle of the document...
Quantitative Time Investments
Research indicated that women working outside of the home spend less time with their children than those who do not. However, results also suggest that as mothers of young children have increased their work effort, they have managed to do so in a way that has not seriously compromised their children's development (Waldfogel, Han & Brooks-Gunn, 2002). This conclusion is consistent with the argument by Bianchi (2000), who showed that, for the most part, the growth in mothers' employment has not been accompanied by a corresponding decline in time spent caring for children or in outcomes for children. Research also indicates that the difference between amount of time mothers working outside of the home and amount of time mothers who do not spend with children is not large because employed mothers protect their time with their children at the cost of other time investment, such as housework, sleep and leisure activities.
Research suggests that the presence of an additional adult member of household has a consistently positive effect on amount of time working mothers spend with children. Women living with another adult are more likely to be employed initially, to exit more slowly, to return more rapidly, and to remain employed one year after child-birth (Wenk & Garrett, 1992). This means that presence of another adult in household decreases maternal role dissatisfaction, especially when the additional adult member is capable and willing to provide appropriate care for the children.
The best way to decrease negative effect of maternal employment on quantity of time spent with children is fathers’ involvement. Increase paternal involvement in child care known to lead to decrease of maternal role dissatisfaction. The marital relationship is also negatively influenced when maternal expectations of child care assistance from the father are not met (Wille, 1992). Research shows that husbands of women working full-time are more involved in child care activities. However, women still carry the major responsibility for child care despite their increased involvement in the work force (Darling-Fisher & Tiedje, 1990). Although it is true that fathers in the U.S. take very little paternity leave, the FMLA did lead to a very sharp increase in paternity leave coverage (Berger & Waldfogel, 2004). Therefore, maternal employment may be linked to reductions in time spend with children, especially if fathers do not “pick up the slack”.
Qualitative Time Investment
The qualities of time working mother spends...