Your Career >> Browse Articles >> Working Moms


Working Moms: The Kids Are Fine

Working Moms: The Kids Are Fine

Lylah M. Alphonse | Write. Edit. Repeat

Working moms, you can breathe that sigh of relief now: A study drawing from 50 years of research supports what most of us have known all along: In spite of well-publicized reports to the contrary, infants and toddlers with working moms grow up to be just fine.

The study, which appears in the American Psychological Association’s publication, Psychological Bulletin, looked at 69 other studies from 1960 to 2010 and focused on academic and behavioral outcomes. What it didn’t find — evidence to support the things working moms typically feel guilty about, including the idea that kids suffer because their moms work — is as significant as what it did find: the fact that early maternial employment (before the child reached age 3) “was associated with higher achievement and fewer internalizing behaviors” like anxiety and depression.

“We really wanted to try to resolve some of the controversy and inconsistent findings around the issue of maternal employment,” lead author Rachel Lucas-Thompson, an assistant professor of psychology at Macalester College in Minnesota, told Time magazine recently.

Aside from doing well academically (in terms of achievement test scores, intelligence test outcomes, grades in school, and teachers’ assessments of their cognitive abilities) and having fewer incidents of anxiety or depression as they grew up, children of working moms benefited from the income earned by their mothers (of course) and from the close ties they formed with their caregivers.

The study also found that “girls may benefit from role modeling and from potential correlates of maternal employment, such as greater independence training, more egalitarian parental gender roles, and increased paternal involvement.” (Boys, on the other hand, may require more supervision because of their “independence-seeking” behavior, the study found — no word on why this behavior is tied to moms who work and not dads, though.)

By focusing on education and behavioral outcomes, Lucas-Thompson’s study also addresses an issue that is at the core of the Mommy Wars: The idea that all moms who work outside the home are doing so by choice (and a selfish choice, at that). The reality is that, for many working moms — single parents, breadwinners, those with spouses who are in the military — staying out of the workforce isn’t an option. And the study found that children of single moms who work also fared better than those with moms who didn’t.

That’s not to say that the children of stay-at-home moms fared poorly — not at all. The bottom line is that all of that working-mom guilt isn’t constructive, or even warranted. No matter your career choice, doing what’s best for your family results in a happier, healthier family — and a happier, more-fullfilled mom, working or not.

This article was originally published on Write.Edit.Repeat.

More From Write. Edit. Repeat.:
Do Working Moms Raise Unhealthy Kids?
Hypersexualized kids? Don’t Blame the Media
Parents Disciplining Children in Public: When to Intervene?

Related Reads:

Excelle School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use Excelle's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

Ldam222 received the quiz result of "ESTJ", 6 days ago.
mlzrvc received the quiz result of "ISTJ", 7 days ago.
schucb received the quiz result of "ESTJ", 7 days ago.
dkk_florida received the quiz result of "ESFJ", 8 days ago.
lexcelle received the quiz result of "Seattle", 8 days ago.
Burntnana received the quiz result of "You Kind of Love your job", 8 days ago.
Burntnana received the quiz result of "Healthy Person", 8 days ago.
Burntnana received the quiz result of "<b>You Just Need a Vacation</b>", 8 days ago.
Margaritta commented on: "Margaret Jefferson", 10 days ago.