Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Lise M. Youngblade
The past several decades have seen an explosion of research, policy, and debate about one of the major social changes in the United States: the increased entry of mothers into the labor force. Central to these discussions are questions about the effects of maternal employment on children and families, as well as on mothers themselves. Several core themes have emerged from this body of work. These include an acknowledgment of the complex social context within which maternal employment affects children and families; the identification of processes by which mothers' work influences child and family outcomes, such as through changes in family interactions, mental health and well-being, and parenting styles; an appreciation that maternal employment may have differential effects on children of different ages; and policy applications. For mothers with children under age 18, the United States has gone from fewer than 30 percent in the labor force in 1960 to ...