Sunday, October 18, 2009

Effects on development of child care during infancy

A study in the Journal of Longitudinal and Life Course Studies* (abstract) concludes that "There is little evidence of harm to school-age children from maternal employment during a child's infancy, especially if employment is part-time, and in a context where several months of maternity leave is the norm."

The issues here are how much less than 24 hours a day can an infant and mom be together and still bond satisfactorily, and when can it start being less than 24 hours a day? This study says it can start very early for a workday length of time, but it's better if it starts a few months after birth and is only part time at first.

This is in line with last year's study from NICHD. (I think. I read it when it came out, but that was last year or sometime, and with my memory, God knows if it really says that.)

*This is a brand new journal. A newspaper article about the study popped up in a Google search. It has some very interesting stuff in it. You have to register to see full PDFs, but it's free. The inaugural issue's contents are:
  • Social Connections in the Inner City: Examination across the Life Course
  • Long-term trends in BMI: are contemporary childhood BMI growth references appropriate when looking at historical datasets?
  • Family Socialization, Economic Self-Efficacy, and the Attainment of Financial Independence in Early Adulthood
  • Handling attrition and non-response in longitudinal data
  • Development of nighttime bladder control from 4 – 9 years: association with dimensions of parent rated child maturational level, child temperament and maternal psychopathology.
  • Does mothers’ employment affect children’s development? Evidence from the children of the British 1970 Birth Cohort and the American NLSY79

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