Confounding Factors in Research: Parental Work Correlating with Child Mental Limitations - Education Essay Example

Introduction

            There are people who believe that the work behavior of parents is able to have an effect on the mental health of their children - Confounding Factors in Research: Parental Work Correlating with Child Mental Limitations introduction. In other words, as parental work habits increase or decrease, there is a chance of contributing to the mental capacity of the child in daycare. Studies have been conducted which aim to shed light on the dynamics of the relationship between parental work habits and child mental health. In one particular study, it was shown that increased parental work hours contribute to lower cognitive development in children under ten years old and lower academic achievement in children under seven (Harvey, 1999). Yet, on the other hand, this study demonstrated that children of single and lower income parents mentally benefited from day care. In aiming to study the correlation between parental work and child mental health, it is essential to have a good overview of the confounding factors involved in this particular branch of research.

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Confounding Factors

            There are several variables which would serve to confound the findings of research aimed at drawing a relationship between parental work habits and child mental health. Three of these confounding factors are the fact that parental work time and child day care time are somewhat unrelated to parent child together time, parent child together time is somewhat unrelated to the idea of quality parent child together time, and socioeconomic status plays a part in the mental health needs of children in that the family needs to have a sufficient income. The variables which could serve to confound research are parent child together time, parent child together time, and socioeconomic status. It is difficult to make a blanket statement such as suggesting that children are better served by parents who do not work too much. Consider the situations of parents who work too much and spend too little time with their children and parents who work too little and spend too much time with their children. Also, parent child together time may be mentally beneficial in some families where the parent has a healthy attachment to the child, yet, in other families, parent child together time may be harmful in that children may experience abuse. There is also the case of middle to upper class families who may be well served by a parent who stays home with the children during their early years as compared to the case of lower class parents who are well served by having available day care present for the needs of their children. There are all sorts of children who are at home with parents or in day cares, and a multitude of familial situations to consider. In order to conduct valid and reliable research, there must be qualitative and quantitative investigations of the various types of family dynamics.

Conclusion

            In engaging in any research, especially research which aims to illustrate the social needs of children, it is important to have a clear vision about the many variables which can serve to confound the study. The needs of particular children vary according to the unique dimensions and qualities of the family. In moving forward in conducting causal research, it is important to control variables by setting up intelligent studies. It may take much time, energy, and thought to precisely construct a viable study. However, the scientific community is only well served by research which can be applied with confidence. In drawing conclusions about the needs of children, it is essential to have a variety of family situations in mind, so that the needs of all types of diverse families are considered. In order to take into account the variety which exists in the world in all types of relationships, it is important to be able to note the variety involved in the families being used as subjects of research.

References

Harvey, E. (1999). Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Early Parental Employment on Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Developmental Psychology 35(2), 445-59.

 

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