Maternal employment: 1979

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Maternal employment is now the modal pattern. This is an important social change. In evaluating the effects of maternal employment, other interrelated social changes must be considered: increased time available to mothers due to decrease in family size and required housework, psychological needs created for mothers by these and other changes which employment may fill, and new requirements for socializing children to fit the new adult roles. With these changes considered, recent research is reviewed to examine how maternal employment fits the needs of children at different developmental stages. In general, maternal employment seems well-suited to the needs of adolescents, appropriate for the emotional and cognitive development of daughters in both adolescence and middle childhood, but there are insufficient data for evaluating effects on infants and some evidence that middle-class sons of working mothers show lower academic performance. (25 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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