Children of mothers who work full time show some cognitive delays that continue into 1st grade, but there are positive effects of mothers’ working outside the home that mediate those effects, according to a new study.
Researchers at Columbia University examined data collected by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care, which is the most comprehensive child-care study conducted to date on how variations in such care relate to children’s development. The researchers’ conclusions were limited to a sample of 900 non-Hispanic white children in the study.
Mothers who worked had higher maternal sensitivity or responsiveness to their children and were more likely to place their children in high-quality child care, the researchers found. Their report was published in the August 2010 issue of the Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development.
A version of this article appeared in the August 11, 2010 edition of Education Week as Early Childhood