The overall goal of this project is to examine the relationships among maternal employment, child care, parenting practices of behavior, and economic factors in families with children born in 1999 to 2000, in the wake of welfare reform and state requirements for low-income mothers of young children to enter the work force. We are interested in the linkages between timing, intensity, and stability of maternal employment in the first three years of life; the type, intensity, quality and stability of child care arrangements used by the family; the psychological climate of the family (including mental health of parents, relationship between the mother and father, conflict in the household, and stability of household members); and the parenting behavior of the mothers (discipline practices). We also will examine how maternal employment and child care in low-income households are associated with child cognitive, social, and emotional well being. This project would add a child care module to an ongoing panel study, the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being study. Using a sample of 1,700 children from 8 cities across the country, we would include child care observations and interviews with providers and parents when the children are 15- and 33-months of age. We would also assess child cognitive, social and emotional development, as well as parental practices and behaviors during home visits at 30- and 48-months.
Our specific aims are to: (1) describe parental employment and child care patterns in a diverse sample of low-income families; (2) assess the relative influences of employment, child care, and family context on child well-being; (3) augment these models by examining possible moderating child and family factors; and (4) see whether changes in employment, child care, and family context predict changes in children's cognitive, social, and emotional well-being.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-1 (01))
Program Officer
Boyce, Cheryl A
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Columbia University Teachers College
Other Health Professions
Schools of Education
New York
United States
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Martin, Anne; Brazil, Adam; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne (2013) The Socioemotional Outcomes of Young Children of Teenage Mothers by Paternal Coresidence. J Fam Issues 34:1217-1237
Martin, Anne; Razza, Rachel; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne (2012) Sustained Attention at Age 5 Predicts Attention-Related Problems at Age 9. Int J Behav Dev 36:413-419
Razza, Rachel A; Martin, Anne; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne (2012) The Implications of Early Attentional Regulation for School Success among Low-Income Children. J Appl Dev Psychol 33:311-319
Ryan, Rebecca M; Tolani, Nitika; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne (2009) Relationship Trajectories, Parenting Stress, and Unwed Mothers' Transition to a New Baby. Parent Sci Pract 9:160-177
Gibson-Davis, Christina M; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne (2006) Couples' immigration status and ethnicity as determinants of breastfeeding. Am J Public Health 96:641-6
Gibson-Davis, Christina M; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne (2006) Breastfeeding and verbal ability of 3-year-olds in a multicity sample. Pediatrics 118:e1444-51