Nonstandard Work Schedules and Child Cognitive Outcomes

Wen-Jui Han, Columbia University

The first major aim of this paper is to examine whether the effects of maternal employment on children's cognitive outcomes differ by mothers' work schedules. The second major aim of this paper is to examine whether or not the effects of maternal work schedules may differ in different contexts (e.g., low-income families or welfare families). This paper, thus, builds on and extends prior research on the effects of early maternal employment by utilizing data on a large national sample of children in the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-Child Supplement (NLSY79-CS). The NLSY79-CS is well suited for this analysis because, in addition to collecting detailed information on family demographic background, it also contains information on various dimensions of maternal work schedules (e.g., working at evenings, nights, or rotating shifts) at every assessment point along with a rich set of information on early child care and home environment.

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Presented in Session 8: Parental Employment and Child Outcomes