Effects of maternal employment on the child: A review of the research

Lois W. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Reviews recent studies of the effects of maternal employment on the child. Research has been organized around 5 hypotheses: (a) The working mother provides a different role model than does the nonworking mother. (b) Employment affects the mother's emotional state-sometimes providing satisfactions, sometimes role strain, and sometimes guilt-and this, in turn, influences the mother-child interaction. (c) The different situational demands as well as the emotional state of the working mother affect child-rearing practices. (d) Working mothers provide less adequate supervision. (e) The working mother's absence results in emotional and possibly cognitive deprivation for the child. Accumulated evidence, although sketchy and inadequate, offered some support for the 1st 4 hypotheses. Empirical studies of school-age children yielded no evidence for a theory of deprivation resulting from maternal employment, but adequate data are not yet available on the effects of maternal employment on the infant. (3 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-228
Number of pages25
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1974
Externally publishedYes


  • maternal employment, child


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