Maternal Job Characteristics And Its Impact To Child Care Research Paper


Exploring family characteristics on childcare and child rearing is solely dependent on socio-economic, cultural and environmental factors. Maternal employment may lead to greater income but impacts child development as seen on child behavior outcomes.


The particular characteristics of a mother’s job influenced her relationship and work-life balance with her child and her family. It is evident that the job flexibility, the demands of the job, fight for independence, and wage highly affect the mother in her various roles in the family, child rearing, child caring, and workplace.


When a mother is employed, it changes family functioning including her interaction with the child. It seems that stress related work has much bearing on the perception of the mother and her approach to childcare.


The timing of the mothers’ employment has long-term effects on the cognitive development and the study habits of the child. Maternal employment during infancy is vital to the children’s development trajectories.


Family context, job characteristics, and design issues represent a lifeline on positive outcomes for infants where cultural differences also exist. The child constructs a view of the self and the social world as a response to its early maternal employment. This is usually a reflection of the experience on the childcare setting and the family.




The attitude and the behavior of mothers towards parenting and their perception on child care are critical to the early life exposure of the child. This affects the child’s behavior and health outcomes in later life. The relationship between the mother and the child is significant to the child’s behavior outcomes.


This research serves to answer the following questions. What is the best approach for childcare? What are the factors that affect maternal characteristics? How do you balance life, work, relationship, and childcare? What do working mothers need? How do you approach childcare to get the best child outcomes?


Factors like social support, maternal attachment experience, mother’s perception towards the child care and the child and the mother’s stress and depressive symptoms affect a mother’s interaction with the child. Maternal work conditions relate to maternal mood and impacts mother and child interaction. Variables that affect mother’s work conditions are used to predict maternal mood. This dissertation explores the control variables for maternal characteristics and the measures appropriate to produce a desirable outcome on a child’s wellbeing.


Pressures received from work and environment interaction measures the level of physical or emotional strain a mother perceives in relation to the interaction that they give to their children. Externalizing maternal behavior problems correlates with the difficulties of women coping up with the working conditions to balancing work and family.


The characteristics of the mother or child that totally influenced the child’s behavior outcomes can be related to the employment characteristics or the emotional state of the mother itself. Although not much study has been made about the emotional self side of a working mother, the experience, the reactions, and the feelings of the mother as they relate to childcare play a major role to the kind of care and love the child is receiving during its development stage.


The mother’s stress and depressive symptoms, the negative or positive perception of the mother towards the child, and other psychological and emotional problems highly affect the disposition of the mother. This influence how the mother is likely to deliver and develop the emotions, feeling of security, bonding, and the behavior of the infant.


The quality of maternal attachment may adversely affect the child’s development. The outcome can be fully manifested later when the child makes her choice about relationships. Self development unfolds within the context of attachment and the internalization of the sense of importance that the child receives from others including the perceptions and expectations of the people around him.


The acquired perceptual schemas of natural expression and behavior orientation of the infant as an under socialized being are constructed out of the visual and linguistic images of its intersubjective world, where the infant has an inborn capacity to habituate and acquire normal experiences (Crossley, 1996).


Relationships, family communication issues, the capacities to trust, attach and self-regulate are the basic senses of continuity that can be fractured in significant ways. They are evident in every mother and child interaction.



People generally operate on unquestioned assumptions about the world as they see it. This provides a sense of security as well as demonstrates invulnerability, which suggest the human need for perceived control over negative or dangerous events.


Mothers are instrumental to the vaccination and health of the child. It is appropriate to address their concerns and define the barriers to develop effective interventions in promoting public child health care. There is a direct correlation between child shyness and maternal characteristics.


Factors that usually influence maternal characteristics are demographics, values, poverty, cultural differences and educational attainment. Psychological stress coming from marital problems and negative life events also constitute to maternal ratings on child outcomes.


Secure and supportive interpersonal relationships in childhood are an important form in promoting resilience in children. Majority of the women in the US are getting employment outside their homes.


This study examines the emotional wellbeing of the infants in relation to the work conditions of the mother as they transitioned into the labor market. The determining factors for work conditions are extended work hours, inconsistent work schedule, night shifts and lengthy or multiple commute times.


These factors are connected to the mother’s disposition and ability to internalize problem behaviors and acquire lower levels of positive behaviors. Non-standard work conditions and other aspects of employment impact the mother’s coordination on work and family environments.


The work environment and how they feel about their workload and work schedule greatly affect how they balance work and life. The mother’s work experiences, stress, mood, and lifestyle impact time management and the perception about child care.


This is evident on the child behavior outcomes. The employment of mothers relates to the social and mental wellbeing of both mother and of the child. There are diverse and conflicting findings on the impacts of the mother’s employment during infancy to the child’s development (Baydar & Brooks-Gunn, 1991).



Factors affecting maternal job characteristics

One of the determinants of a mother’s choice on child care is the features of the work environment. This can make it difficult for mothers to experience independence and better self-regulation.


This is especially true among working mothers who have higher occupational complexity. The prevailing labor market characteristics of 24/7 economy is likely to increase among mothers.


They would be tempted to leave welfare and find work in the low wage market. The 24/7 economy means that mothers may not be able to work on a fixed daytime schedule like Monday to Saturday.


This shows that mothers may very well work in night shifts and can hasten the split-shift parenting with another trusted caregiver. This concept of split-parenting facilitates the sharing of the child care in the early life of the infant.


This means that working on a non-standard shift is considered more as a job requirement and not as a personal preference among working mothers. Some mothers claimed that they got better child care arrangements working on a 24/7 economy schedule requirement.


Many mothers however, find difficulty in securing child care. This leads to a stressful family relationship where oftentimes caregivers were found to interfere on parental supervision and maternal involvement of the child. Mother’s child care choices are influenced by child care availability, child care preferences and maternal beliefs, demographic characteristics and a lot of child factors.


Rotating shift work schedules were also found to increase the likelihood of broken marriages or separation. Mothers with minimum wages search for a better income and in the process may tend to abandon their families to seek employment in workshops or other states.


Most of these mothers find it easier and simpler to abstain from their children to cope up with the economic living conditions (Boris & Prugl, 1996). Mothers are being caught up by the exploitative nature of the present economic situation.


Employers sometimes exploit mothers through demands of long hours in an inadequate working condition and safety regulation. This leaves most mothers in a handicapped condition where they manage and balance life with poor diet and bad housing. Mothers often are being caught up between the demands made by their employers, work, husbands, and children.


The long journeys to work are undoubtedly stressful that highly affect mood and mother-child interaction. Working on continuous periods under conditions of nervous strain exacerbate fatigue, which influenced most working mothers health and condition on work and the ability to respond to the needs of child care as well as family relationships.


The option to select the best health care possible is not even a choice considering that these mothers have limited economic resources and experienced less available high quality child care arrangements in their local place. The kind of work mothers have certainly directly affects family conditions.


Parental social characteristics affect the child well-being to a considerable extent (Parcel & Menaghan, 1994).


Role of maternal attachment

Almost all mothers now work outside their homes regardless of the age of their child. Child attachment to the mother is being affected and influenced by the substitute caregiver.


Infant childcare giving by substitute caregivers is posing an increasing risk to the children. One of the greatest effects of maternal employment is the lessening mother-child interaction that we refer to as maternal attachment.


Maternal employment deliberately posed a risk to the level and security of the child’s attachment to the mother. Maternal attachment influenced a child’s wellbeing while non-parental care affects a child’s maternal attachment along with the factors of social, cognitive and emotional development of the child.


There is a possibility that infants enrolled in out-of-home childcare services may be at risk for social and emotional development later. Studies have shown that they are most likely to display insecure maternal attachments (Belsky, 1988).


Attachment theory in this sample PhD dissertation research writing is the process where the mother and child attachment shapes the template for relationships throughout the lifespan in the early or formative years of the infant. Bonding and maternal attachment is critical to the child’s survival, mental and emotional health and wellbeing.


Alan Schore (1994), emphasizing the importance of the mother child dyad in his review of the development of the brain and the origins of self, states:


“The child’s first relationship acts as a template and molds the individual’s capacities to enter into all emotional relationships. Development essentially represents a number of sequential mutually driven infant-caregiver processes that occur in a continuing dialectic between the maturing organism and the changing environment. It now appears that affect is what is actually transacted within the mother-infant dyad, and this highly efficient system of emotional communication is essentially nonverbal.”


The mother’s attunement to the child facilitates the experience and dependent maturation of the child in the first year of infancy. If the child’s need for attention, soothing, stimulation, affection, touch, discipline, validation, and so on goes unmet or is met with feedback that is absent, punishing, frustrating or rejecting, the consequences can be structurally written into the developing personality.


Children may become emotionally constricted turning into themselves and disconnecting from others, or emotionally deregulated and fail to learn to use others to soothe or comfort themselves. Without an alternative validating caretaker, the child cannot internalize a caring relationship with self.


A child who is rejected or abandoned tends to develop negative core schemas or beliefs about self. The essential elements of trust, secure sense of self and the ability to regulate oneself are needed for healthy interpersonal functioning. Infants at an early stage could sense when and how to rely on the substitute caregiver.



Child care approach and preferences

A child’s behavioral environment provides gradual change. Any child would definitely need secure and supportive interpersonal relationships. The basic concept of interpersonal relationships focuses on the development of personality as a template for later relationships.


The combination of family influences and those that came from the substitute caregiver or child care impacts the psychosocial development of the infant. Child care, if not reliable, may be detrimental to the child’s social and emotional development.


The type, amount of care, and quality of care are associated with mothering characteristics. Poor quality care giving and insensitive mothering posed a risk to development of insecure attachments.


The level of mother-child ongoing interaction affects child care and the level of maternal attachment. The child may feel being in a strange situation childcare environment and begins to feel the experiences of daily separation from their mothers.


It is best to determine better alternatives on childcare and protect the level of maternal attachment security as it relates to third party childcare. The women of today face the challenge of keeping their jobs, taking care of the children, and performing domestic work.


The common approach to childcare is to waken and wash, dress and feed the infant. Relationships may have its best possible experience when mothers actually stay at home for at least a year. This minimizes bonding problems.


A child who experienced better childcare exhibits a significant difference in their use of language, emotional, social, and thinking development. Regardless of the type of care chosen for the child, the form of care shall be stable and consistent.


Frequent shuffling of caregiver and changes in forms of care creates difficulties for the baby to establish and form attachments. The best place to provide care for the baby is the home. A relative or a trusted grandparent may come to the house.


This will make the baby more comfortable and at ease. It is always best to hold and comfort the infant when it is fussy. Always wash hands and wear disposable gloves when changing diapers if possible.


Toys should be regularly disinfected too. Soothe the baby when he cries and learn to interact during the course of the day. Babies have feeding and napping schedules, which the caregiver must be willing to accommodate.


The issues related to child care and wellbeing of children are being translated to effective programs and policies attempting to complement the infant’s mind and personality development as it takes shape in its early years of life.In this sample PhD dissertation research writing, environmental influences the care giving and everyday experiences of learning that a child witnesses.


This also impacts how the needs of the child are being met. Balance care giving and nurturing are critical in the vulnerable years of a child’s life. The difficulties children encountered in establishing rapport with teachers and schoolmates in their school environment may have long lasting effects.


The nature and quality of the mother-child relationship are naturally explorative and may have repercussions as they act in response to care and discipline approach in their school environment.



Literature Review

Maternal job characteristics impact the mother’s relationship with the family and the children. Workplace environment, job demands, wage factors, and morale support contribute to the mother’s role in the family.


These factors certainly affect how a family functions, which also influenced the developing children in the family. An employed mother changes family functions.


This results to a change in the relationship, bonding, or interaction between the infant and the mother (Wang & Taylor, 2000). The child is usually left unsupervised by the mother for longer periods of time.


The mother usually delegates management of the child’s eating habits and nutrition to child care services. Research has shown that maternal employment greatly affects the academic achievement of the children.


Many employed mothers find it difficult to supervise homework and initiate moves to enhance the skills and intelligence of the children because of the lack of time especially when the feeling of being overwhelmed affects the mood and the emotions of the mother. The mother’s inability to manage stress that they experienced in the workplace impact their motivation to perform some family functions.


Job characteristics determine a mother’s availability to the children and of the family. Although mothers derived economic benefits from work, they at times feel being overloaded, bored, and fatigued.


The need for personal space results to gradual reduction of contact, mother-child interaction and lesser manifestation of affection, concern, and warmth, which the child needs in the early stages of life. Job characteristics affect the mothers’ moods. Mothers coming home tired from work are irritable and are fast becoming impatient with children.


The need to maintain a distance with the child undermines growth promoting parental functioning. There is a close correlation between maternal attitudes and affectionate behavior in parental functioning. Job characteristics are associated with family processes specifically child outcomes.


Job characteristics and its influence on the children are dependent on factors, such as economic resources and maternal parenting behavior (Smolensky et al, 2001). The psychological wellbeing of the mother is crucial to family functioning especially child care.


In this sample PhD dissertation research writing, child care cannot be explored alone without taking into account the links to the family affecting child development. Child care is dependent on factors, such as the type of care arrangements, training and reliability of the caregivers, and the safety of the physical space (Pillemer & McCartney, 1991).


The emotional atmosphere of the child care environment highly determines the infant’s experience for quality child care. Child care arrangement is done to maximize a mother’s overall utility or function with regards to work and the household.


Child care arrangement varies depending on the family structure and price of the service. The choice is closely associated with maternal earnings and level of labor supply.


Maternal employment experiences affect parental values. This impacts the quality of supplemental child care a mother is able to arrange. This also relates to the quality of care the mother directly provides to the child.


Mothers usually take care of the responsibility for child care arrangement. This includes chauffeuring to the child care center. This is dependent of course on the household maternal roles, culture, and other demographic factors.


Supplemental child care during the child’s first year is crucial to the relationship of the mother and the child. The first year is seen to be critical to the child’s subsequent behavioral adjustment (French & Sim, 2004).


Multiple non-maternal cares often lead to insecure attachment of the child to the mother. Early separation of the child from the mother posed a real risk that the child may not experience optimal environment for growth where most of the time the child is neglected.





The child is likely to develop an internal working model of the self based on his experience of secure or insecure attachment to the primary caretaker. The positive and trusting relationship occurs with her primary caregiver. Mother’s attunement to the child facilitates the experience of dependent maturation of the child’s neurological structure, which influenced the child’s biochemical growth process in the first year of infancy.


When a child’s need for attention, soothing, stimulation, affection, touch, discipline, validation, and other needs are unmet, the consequences can be structurally written into the developing personality. A child cannot internalize a caring relationship with self. A child who is rejected or abandoned tends to develop negative schemes or beliefs about self.


Work-family linkage effects are measured in the child’s outcome.  Maternal employment is defined in a mother’s work of employment history. The major limitation of maternal employment and infancy study is that the quality of childcare cannot be measured (Parke & Kellam, 1994).


Employers need to design jobs of working mothers in order to support their multiple roles in life. The stress that working mothers experienced from their working environment impacts the quality of child care and the amount of time they spend on their children at home.


Distancing from the children is common when the mothers experienced a frustrating day at work. Maternal job characteristics directly affect child care and child development.




Baydar, N. & Brooks-Gunn, J. (1991). Effects of maternal employment and child-care arrangements in infancy on preschoolers’ cognitive and behavioral outcomes: Evidence from the children of NLSY. Development Psychology, 27, 932-945.

Belsky, J. (1988). The effects of infant day care reconsidered. Early childhood research quarterly, 3, 235-272. Crossley, N. (1996). Intersubjectivity.London: Sage Publication Ltd.

Boris, E. & Prugl, E. (1996). Homeworkers in global perspective. NY: Routledge.

French, S. & Sim, J. (2004). Physiotherapy.Philadelphia: Elsevier Limited.

Parcel, T. L. & Menaghan, E. G. (1994). Parent’s jobs and children’s lives.New York: Walter de Gruyter, Inc.

Pillemer, K. A. & McCartney, K. (1991). Parent-child relations throughout life. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.

Schore, A. N. (1994). Affect regulation and repair of the self: Neurobiology of emotional evelopment.Hillsdale,NJ: Erlbaum Associates.

Smolensky, E. et al (2001). Working families and growing kids: Caring for children and adolescents.Washington,DC: National Academies Press.

Wang, M. C. & Taylor, R. D. (2000). Resilience across contexts: Family, work, culture, and community. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.

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