Mother's Work Participation and Children's Cognitive Development in the Philippines

Sonny S. Agustin, University of San Carlos
Socorro A. Gultiano, University of San Carlos

The incompatibility of women’s productive and reproductive roles is widely recognized. Several studies have examined the relationship between mother’s work and childbearing as well as mother’s work and child health. Fewer studies, however, have examined the role of mother’s work on children’s cognitive development specifically in developing countries. Using longitudinal data on some 5,000 children aged 5-9 years from the evaluation study of the Philippine Early Childhood Development Project, this study examines the influence of mother’s work participation on children’s cognitive development, measured by a nonverbal intelligence test constructed for Filipino children. The analysis is stratified by gender and age of children, and controls for selected socioeconomic and health characteristics of the children, mothers and households. Preliminary results show that mother’s work participation in the last 4 years has positive effects on cognitive development of younger male children, but has no effect on females and older male children.

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Presented in Poster Session 2