Summary of an Empirical Journal Article

A Summary of an Empirical Journal Article


There have been many studies that have attempted to correlate the relationship between maternal employment in the early years of a child’s life or a child’s time in day care to child development. Some studies have shown that children in an extensive amount of daycare have negative developmental effects while others have shown the opposite (Barglow, Contera, Kavesh & Vaughn, 1998). To further develop theory and determine whether the amount of hours of maternal employment during the child’s first year has an influence on this subject matter Barglow et al. (1998) conducted a follow-up study on 92 6-7 year old children that were earlier studied at age one, who spent time in high quality daycare at their home. Barlgow et al. focused their study on evaluating peer competence and problem behaviour measured through laboratory play and child psychological tests. Additionally Barlgow et al. attempted to see if child’s attachment classification at an early age relates to peer competence and if this is affected by maternal employment.

After conducting their research and tests on the study sample Barglow, Conteras, Kavesh and Vaughn (1998) proved that they were unable to produce direct relationships between maternal employment and child development. Barglow et al. did however show that was some predictions that could be made about problem behaviour in boys and maternal work status as they two showed a positive predictor. Additionally it was found that in the sample of girls there was a larger negative predictor between maternal work status and social competence with girls whose mother’s worked away from home during their first year of their life showing greater social competence (Barglow et al.).

This effect was negligible for boys. Barglow et al. also showed that there was no relationship between the maternal work status and the I.Q. of child, as no difference was observed. Due to the fact that this study by Barglow et al. was unable to produce any conclusive results from the research it shows that perhaps individual studies would be much more beneficial to determine the relationship between child development and maternal work status. This is seen in the special case discussed by Barglow et al. of the boy whose mother would take him with her when she worked and who showed very high peer competence scores. Although this study was somewhat inconclusive it did show the importance of recognizing third variables and the infinite differences between children developing in different homes.

Barglow, P., Conteras, J., Kavesh, L., & Vaughn, B. (1998). Developmental follow-up of 6-7 year old children of mothers employed during their infancy. Child Psychiatry and Human hDevelopment, 29(1), 3-20.
Schacter, D., Gilbert, D., & Wegner, D. (2008). Development. In C. Linsmeier, M. Melek, P. Fisher, B. Brooks, A. Musick, T. Kuehn, J. O’Neill, & T. Szczepanski (Eds.), Psychology (Custom ed. for University of Alberta) (pp. 405-447). New York, NY: Worth Custom Publishing.