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Denise Hawkes

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					Motherhood and Child Outcomes:
The consequences of the timing of motherhood and mothers’ employment on child outcomes
Denise D. Hawkes 19th March 2008
following lives from birth and through the adult years www.cls.ioe.ac.uk

This research attempted to explore


“the relationship between the timing of motherhood, the employment and child care decisions of mothers and child outcomes.”

following lives from birth and through the adult years

www.cls.ioe.ac.uk

Data and Methods used
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Three National Cohort Studies held at Centre for Longitudinal Studies (NCDS, BCS70 and MCS)
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International Comparisons with US and Australia achieved so far Intergenerational comparison possible as two generations at least present in all three cohorts as well as cross cohort comparisons possible Data on fertility and employment histories

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Methods used include regression analysis, event history analysis and multi-level modelling
www.cls.ioe.ac.uk

following lives from birth and through the adult years

Two Key Determinants Child Outcomes (1)
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Timing of Motherhood Under this theme we have considered
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who is most likely to enter motherhood earlier (MCS) how education affects the timing of the motherhood decision (NCDS/BCS70)  postponement and childlessness (NCDS and BCS70)
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the link between age at first motherhood and family socioeconomic environment (MCS)  to be investigated: the link between age at first motherhood and child outcomes at age 3 and 5 (MCS)

following lives from birth and through the adult years

www.cls.ioe.ac.uk

Timing of Motherhood Questions
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Does early motherhood have an impact on parenting style and children’s experiences of family life, and how does this vary by birth order or cohort?
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YES: on experiences of family life differs by cohort  NO: not different by birth order. Still to consider parenting styles
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Are the outcomes for children of early mothers different from the outcomes for children with later mothers before and after other factors/sets of factors (such as parental education, family income and family structure) are controlled?
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YES: although much is explained by prior disadvantage
www.cls.ioe.ac.uk

following lives from birth and through the adult years

Findings from project so far – Timing of Motherhood
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 

The timing of motherhood is associated with personal characteristics (past and present), area characteristics and labour market Some differences across the cohorts but maternal education for the UK appears to be the key driver! Timing of motherhood is also linked to child outcomes but maternal education is often more important.

following lives from birth and through the adult years

www.cls.ioe.ac.uk

Two Key Determinants Child Outcomes (2)
 

Employment and Child Care Decisions of Mothers Under this theme we have considered


who is most likely to re-enter motherhood and when
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two international comparisons MCS/ECLS-B and the MCS/ALSC

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the link between labour market participation in the first none months and child outcomes (MCS and ECLS-B)  the link between labour market participation during the pre-school years and child outcomes (NCDS)  for those in employment the link between child care choice and child outcomes (MCS)

following lives from birth and through the adult years

www.cls.ioe.ac.uk

Maternal Employment and Child Care Questions
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To consider how far the difference in child outcomes can be explained as the impact of maternal employment.
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For the UK in the 21st Century the main determinant of both early maternal employment and child outcomes is maternal education. Not so for the US. Maternal Education appears to be a strong driver in all three UK cohort studies for child outcomes

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To explore jointly the determinants of the timing of motherhood and maternal employment
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Not done yet.
www.cls.ioe.ac.uk

following lives from birth and through the adult years

Findings from project so far – Maternal Employment
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Maternal Employment is associated with mostly maternal characteristics – same characteristics in UK and US but different directions (key in UK is education) Child outcomes are associated with maternal characteristics (again maternal education), not employment status Associated with child care type Hoping to show a link to parenting styles

following lives from birth and through the adult years

www.cls.ioe.ac.uk

Capacity Building
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Future proposal in planning  International comparisons – co-authors established  Experience of running a large project
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“the project brings in new blood to look at a new generation of data, under the guidance of an old hand”

following lives from birth and through the adult years

www.cls.ioe.ac.uk

www.cls.ioe.ac.uk
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