research paper - Hannah Metcalfe Sociology 200 Research...

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Hannah Metcalfe Sociology 200 Research Paper Are working mothers detrimental to their children’s achievement? Women’s magazines across the world, even the Archbishop of Canterbury in the UK, frequently suggest that society needs to think more deeply about the consequences of encouraging mothers to work full time, as many stress their concern that modern life is placing too great a strain on childhood. A report from the Institute for social and Economic Research said that having a working mother affected both a child’s emotional and academic development. The report concurs with the ideas of many children’s campaigners who have highlighted the importance to a child of regular quality time with their parents, as modern working practices appear to leave children feeling increasingly isolated. This topic is of great interest to me as I am the child of a full time working mother ad have often been asked how I felt about her “abandonment” during my grade and high school years. I am going to undertake research that I hope will enable me to answer the question of whether or not working mothers do have a negative affect on their children’s academic development. In this paper I will begin by reviewing the literature on studies already undertaken on the effect of a working mother on the academic achievement of their child. I will then discuss the methods I would employ to conduct my own research project and my findings. I will conclude with a discussion of the implications of my results. This topic is of great interest to many sociologists and much research has already been done, particularly over the past thirty years. In the US the results have often, but not always,
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concluded that there were no systematically negative effects of maternal employment on children’s academic achievement. Both negative and positive effects were found and in all cases the family’s social class was relevant to the direction of the results. According to the findings of Wendy A Goldberg, when maternal employment is associated with low achievement test scores, the children are likely to be male and middle class. She also saw through her research that boys are more vulnerable to negative consequences as they require more parental supervision and guidance than girls. Goldberg also points out that boys and girls in lower class homes seem to benefit from mothers employment as it brings more money to the family, more resources and better nutrition.
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