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...
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