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Politics of Parenting: Study Finds Children of Working Moms Do Better

GUEST: Mayra Ruiz Castro is a Researcher at the Harvard Business School.

A Pew research poll from 2013 found that “A plurality of adults (42%) say having a mother who works part time is ideal for a young child, and one-third say having a mother who doesn’t work at all is ideal.” Even among women who are working mothers, “only 22% [said] having a mother who works full time is best for a young child, while 53% say having a mother who works part time is ideal.” The beliefs that we have about motherhood and whether stay-at-home moms are best for children, are just that: beliefs. The facts can be quite contrary.

A ground-breaking new study of 50,000 adults aged 18 to 60 in 25 nations worldwide has found that having a working mother can be quite good for you. Researchers with the Harvard Business School’s new Gender Initiative found that adult daughters of mothers who worked outside the home before their daughters were 14 years old, especially benefitted.

Today as part of our on-going series on the politics of parenting, we turn to one of the researchers of the study.