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Title:Nonstandard work and cognitive and behavioral development among preschool children in single mother families
Author(s):Coba-Rodriguez, Sarai
Advisor(s):Lleras, Christy
Department / Program:Human & Community Development
Discipline:Human & Community Development
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Maternal employment
Maternal health
Child well-being
Single mother families
Abstract:This study investigates the relationship between nonstandard work schedules and children's cognitive, social, and behavioral development in single mother families, as well as the impact that parental stress and depression may have on children's outcomes. Multivariate analyses were conducted using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Birth Cohort (ECLS-B). Results indicate that children of single mothers who work nonstandard hours have worse cognitive outcomes compared to children whose mothers work standard hours. This effect persists after controlling for job, maternal, child, and family characteristics. Little support is found for the notion that parenting stress and maternal depression are the main mechanisms linking nonstandard work with poorer cognitive outcomes among preschool age children of single mothers. In addition, this study finds that single mothers who work nonstandard shifts are more likely to have children who are experiencing greater internalizing behavioral problems. Working a nonstandard job is not associated with preschool children's externalizing behavior problems. Mothers who are depressed have higher levels of parental stress which negatively affects their children's externalizing behavior. These findings highlight the importance of further examining the relationship between nonstandard work and child well-being and possible pathways through which nonstandard hours affect children’s outcomes. More attention needs to be paid to single mothers work conditions, particularly nonstandard work, as well as the mental health and well-being of single mothers as they strive to adequately care for their children and work enough hours to support them financially.
Issue Date:2013-02-03
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Sarai Coba-Rodriguez
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-02-03
Date Deposited:2012-12

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