Colloquium - Alexandra Killewald
March 23, 2017
"Mother's Employment Patterns and Consequences for Adolescent Outcomes"
Professor of Sociology, Harvard University
(Sponsored by National Marriage Project)
Previous research on maternal employment and its consequences for children has disproportionately examined either current employment status or the employment patterns of new mothers. I instead draw on the life course perspective and conceptualize maternal careers as long-term patterns with cumulative consequences for children’s well-being. First, I document common employment patterns of American mothers over the first 18 years of maternity and describe distinctions that emerge only by separating full-time and part-time employment and by considering employment as a long-term trajectory. Second, I describe the family, economic, and attitudinal characteristics associated with each maternal employment pattern. Finally, I estimate the consequences of maternal employment during childhood for adolescent education and health outcomes.