Effects of Maternal Employment on Infant Development

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The topic of this paper is the debate of whether or not maternal employment has any effect on infant development. Research on this described topic has recently become popular due to the rise of working mothers over the past several decades. Their increasing numbers in the workplace and decreasing numbers as stay at home moms are creating a number of different issues to be studied. The effects of maternal employment are determined by a number of factors that include, the mother’s job satisfaction and drive, amount of work, and the mother’s opinion of quality versus quantity time with children. The main concept at hand here is the importance of an attachment in the first few years as being vital to a child’s later development. One side of the argument backs up this fact saying that it is important for a child to have their mother home with them during this period of development. The other side argues that they are finding that it may be more beneficial for the child to be placed in some form of nontraditional care environment. This paper will examine these different effects on infant development whether they are positive or negative. There are two sides to this argument as expected for any issue in debate. I will discuss these two sides by using the arguments of researchers that have studied this topic and written articles on their opposing feelings on maternal employment. I will summarize separately these two researchers’ different views along with their findings. After I have summarized some of their findings I will be presenting my own personal view on this topic. The authors arguing the yes side of this debate are, Jay Belsky and David Eggebeen. Their purpose in writing on this issue was to touch upon some of the issues involved in what has become known as the infant day care controversy. They reviewed previous studies of maternal employment and of the infants involved receiving various types of non-parental care and found that the children that received the type of non-parental care available in the United States for 20 or more hours a week during their first year of life are at a higher risk of developing insecure attachments to their mothers and have been known to misbehave with adults and act more aggressively toward their peers as 3 to 8 year olds. It was also found that the children that ha... ... middle of paper ... ...nced skills when in school. It has been discussed that children that were not placed in non-traditional care and stayed at home with their mothers for their first three years do not take long to catch up academically with the kids that had been placed in different care environments. Children that have been able to stay at home with their mothers have also been found to be more compliance and less behavioral problems when placed into school. I think that the one-on-one relationship that they got to have with their mother right from the beginning help a great deal in creating these types of good behaviors. The children who have been placed in the care of others all their lives would not know this feeling because they have always been surrounded by other children receiving care from the same few center workers. I really feel that the best thing a mother can do for her children to ensure good development and a happy childhood is be a loving mother at home for at least the first three years of life. Once they have had this experience, and they are closer to 4 years old they will probably be ready for some kind of pre-school program.

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