Maternal Employment and Child Development

Table of Content

There were multiple hypotheses used in determining the effectiveness of a mother’s companion with child in lieu or returning to work. The first was reflective of the notion that because Multiple Imputations (MI) was used concerning the sampled cases, the averages might be skewed when reviewing the results.

The additional hypothesis notes that because of the propensity approach that was used, the concluding estimates may not be as conclusive as expected. The observational research study used propensity score matching and multiple imputations (MI) based on the sampled subjects. According to the article, “propensity score matching estimates the effect of maternal employment by creating matched groups based on background characteristics.

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First, the propensity score, or the probability of being treated (I. E. , the probability that the child’s mother worked post birth), is estimated for each child. (Hill, Wallflower, Brooks-Gun, & Han, 2005) In order to balance the results of the case study and to fill the gaps of populations that may have not been considered and or represented, multiple imputations was used. According to the article, “MI replaces missing values with predictions based on all the other information observed in the study.

This creates a “completed” dataset with the original data augmented by imputed data. MI can accommodate many different patterns of missing data. In contrast to single imputation techniques, however, MI properly accounts for our uncertainty about these missing values (leading to appropriate standard errors) by imputing several values for each missing value (with variability due to both sampling error and model uncertainty), creating several completed datasets” (Hill et al. 2005 )

Research was performed based on a sample group that included children from childhood (birth-12 yr. ); preschool age (2-5 yr. ); school age (6-12 yr. ) children whose parents employment status included 4 maternal employment patterns: no work in first 3 years post birth, work only after 1 SST year, part-time work in 1st year, and full-time work in 1st year. The analysis of the research used the MI and propensity score methods of the sampled study groups.

The propensity scores were matched and matched to the comparison groups. There were 4 model sets observed,

  1. Comparisons Between Worked After First Year and Never Worked,
  2. Comparisons between Worked Part Time in the First Year and Did Not Work Until After the First Year,
  3. Comparisons Between Worked Full Time in the First Year Versus Did Not Work Until After the First Year
  4. Comparisons between Worked Full Time in the First Year versus Worked Part Time in the First Year.

The analyzed results concluded that of the four different groups, parents who returned to work immediate after giving birth had a negative impact on the child’s cognitive abilities (I. E. Behavioral adaptations). As noted in the article, “Negative effects of maternal employment on children’s cognitive outcomes were found in our analyses primarily for children whose mothers were employed full time in the first year post birth as compared with children whose mothers postponed work until after their child’s first year of life and also as compared with mothers who worked part time in the first year. (Hill et al. , 2005)

The strengths and weaknesses of the article’s content and structure were also addressed in that a few of the weakness of the concluded results were due to the gaps in the sampled subgroups (I. E. Not all maternal types were represented) as well as a few biases and assumptions might have been made regarding the data used to evaluate the subjects referenced. The study was based on observational not experimental data, which left opportunities for assumptions to be implied, perhaps appropriately or not.

However, the strengths were represented in the methods used (MI and propensity scoring) to interpret and properly analyses the data. My personal reflection is that although it appears that it would be beneficial o have a mother at home to offer closeness and care necessary for cognitive development in a child, unfortunately this is not always feasible for many mothers for various socioeconomic reasons.

The article was beneficial in that the sampled subjects used seem to have encompassed a broad enough spectrum that returned plausible results. However, the article was very technical and perhaps too analytical to deduce a complete conclusion about the sampled subjects used, therefore I would not recommend review of this article to others. The authors were to achieve their purpose in determining the effective the resulted between ages 4-8 for children who were not in the direct care of their mothers immediately after birth.

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Maternal Employment and Child Development. (2018, Feb 03). Retrieved from

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