Working Mother vs. Stay at Home Mother

Working Mother vs. Stay at Home Mother

Working Mother vs Stay at Home Mother. What are the effects of Maternal Employment on children and their risks of growing up in poverty?


Maternal employment is a topic which can generate an interesting and emotional debate. It is a topic which is almost certainly the preserve of maternal and not paternal employment. It is also a debate for which there isn’t one answer. Are children better off or worse off if their mother works? Is a child more likely to live in poverty if the mother does not work? Does the age of the child when a mother works make a difference? What are the long-term effects? To support discussion on this topic, a review of literature has been made.

Some arguments from the reviewed literature may be based on the traditional roles of women as housekeepers and nurturers. This may cause some bias in the conclusions drawn from research. Others may come from a fiscal view and a need to reduce reliance on benefits.

In this paper an examination is made of whether maternal employment really does benefit the child and society in the long term. The importance of this issue should not be underestimated as the long term effects to children could shape the policies of the future. Child poverty in the UK costs at least £25 billion per year (Hirsch, 2009). Children who grow up in poverty are more likely to become involved in anti-social behaviour, offending, or substance misuse. They are also more likely to have been a victim of crime. Evidence shows that children in poverty are exposed to more risk factors that can lead to negative outcomes. These risk factors can have a long lasting effect on the future prospects as the children reach adulthood. (House of Commons, 2003)

There are two commonly accepted definitions of poverty. These are; ‘Absolute’ and ‘Relative’. Absolute poverty is defined by the level of resources needed for physical survival i.e. a person is poor if they cannot feed, cloth or house themselves and...

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