Are Parental Trade-Offs between Spending Time with Children and Earning Money Associated with Young Children's Development?

Kathryn Hynes, Cornell University

Previous research shows that parental work arrangements influence the amount of time that parents spend with their children, parents' psychological well-being, and the amount of money that parents have. Research also concludes that more of each of these resources (time, money, psychological well-being) is beneficial to children's development either directly, or indirectly through the quality of parenting behaviors and the home environment. In reality however, parents cannot simply maximize each of these resources; instead they typically must make trade-offs between resources. For instance, parents working longer hours may have less time available for their children, but more money, than parents working shorter hours. Using data from the 1997 Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, this paper draws on the life course perspective, developmental theories, and economic models to examine whether the trade-offs that parents make when they select work-family arrangements are associated with young children's development.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Families, Parenting, Adolescents, and Children