Parents’ Joint Work Schedules and Young Children’s Cognitive and Behavioral Development: A Longitudinal Analysis

Chris Morett, Fordham University
Emily Rosenbaum, Fordham University
Matthew Weinshenker, Fordham University

We explore whether having one or both parents working nonstandard hours early in infancy (nine months) is associated with cognitive and behavioral development (at 24 months). Literature on shift work traditionally focused on individual consequences (e.g., poor physical and mental health) and quality of the marital relationship. Most recently, studies have examined how parental – and largely maternal – shift work affects children. This literature conceptualizes mothers’ socioemotional states and marital quality as mediating the relationship between shift work and children’s outcomes; we follow that general approach. However, the few existing studies utilized disparate and selective samples, and often lacked data on fathers. Here we focus on how mothers’ and fathers’ work schedules, socioemotional states, and interaction with children influence young children’s cognitive and behavioral development with a nationally representative sample of children with co-resident parents from the first two waves of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey - Birth Cohort.

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Presented in Session 157: Children's Outcomes and Parental Nonstandard Work Schedules