Maternal Depression and Time Investments in Children in Early Life

Jen-Hao Chen, University of Missouri, Columbia

Maternal depression has been linked to poor home environment for children. Prior studies in this topic have focused on the depressed mothers’ parenting styles and parent-child relationship. Relative few studies, however, have paid attention to the role of maternal psychological wellbeing in shaping mothers’ time with children. Using the birth cohort data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, this study examines the association between maternal depression and time investments from birth to aged 5. Regression results show that maternal depression is associated with decreased in mother’s time in play with child and management child’s activities during infancy. However, maternal depression is not related to any category of maternal time investments during toddler year and preschool year. Overall, preliminary results suggest that maternal depression only has a limited effect on time investments in children. Depressed mothers do not substantially reduce their time spending with children.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 94: Time Use of Parents and Children