General Article Working mothers and the effects on children

Topic Selected: Gender Equality
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Parents struggling to combine paid work with bringing up their children now have some positive news thanks to a new study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) on maternal employment and child socio-emotional behaviour in the UK. The research shows that there are no significant detrimental effects on a child’s social or emotional development if their mothers work during their early years.
The ideal scenario for children, both boys and girls, was shown to be where both parents lived in the home and both were in paid employment. For children living with two parents, the impact of the working life of the mother may partly depend on the father’s own working arrangements. However, using data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study, the researchers discovered that the relationship between behavioural difficulties and employment of the mother was stronger for girls than for boys and that this was not explained by household income, level of mother’s educ

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