March 26, 2005

The Mother Anti-Drive-By

A great sigh of relief will probably be heard emanating from mothers who work outside the home the world over when they get news that the medical community has absolved them of guilt (should they choose to accept that absolution) over the quality of their child care. Running on no less an outlet than FOX News, reports are in that a long-term study of young children concluded that their development did not suffer when their mother worked outside the home, so long as quality time was spent with them.

In general, other household chores suffered a bit (hel-lo, daddies), but researchers found very little difference in the total amount of meaningful parent-child interaction between the two groups of mothers. The study even found that small observed delays in the learning of children whose mothers worked very long hours vanished in time.

The study was conducted to get an accurate picture of development impacts in the critical infant and toddler years. It's during this time when social pressure to stay home, as well as mothers' anxiety over caregiving is often at the most acute.

Posted by natasha at March 26, 2005 12:48 AM | Health/Medicine/Health Care | Technorati links |