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  1. Expensive Childcare and Short School Days = Lower Maternal Employment and More Time in Childcare? Evidence from the American Time Use Survey

    This study investigates the relationship between maternal employment and state-to-state differences in childcare cost and mean school day length. Pairing state-level measures with an individual-level sample of prime working-age mothers from the American Time Use Survey (2005–2014; n = 37,993), we assess the multilevel and time-varying effects of childcare costs and school day length on maternal full-time and part-time employment and childcare time.
  2. ‘‘I Just Need a Job!’’ Behavioral Solutions, Structural Problems, and the Hidden Curriculum of Parenting Education

    Parenting education programs aim to teach parents, often low-income mothers, a set of skills, behaviors, and attitudes believed to promote improved opportunities for their children. Parenting programs are often offered in schools, with instructors teaching pregnant or parenting teens about child development, attachment, and discipline strategies. Despite the large numbers of participants and significant public and private funding going to parenting education, sociologists of education in the United States have paid little attention to the topic.
  3. Is Daily Parental Help with Homework Helpful? Reanalyzing National Data Using a Propensity Score–Based Approach

    Previous analyses of large national datasets have tended to report a negative relationship between parental homework help and student achievement. Yet these studies have not examined heterogeneity in this relationship based on the propensity for a parent to provide homework help. By using a propensity score–based approach, this study investigates the relationship between daily parental homework help in first grade and student achievement in third grade with nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Class.
  4. “Diversity Is Important to Me”: White Parents and Exposure-to-Diversity Parenting Practices

    Drawing upon interviews with 40 parents in Cincinnati, Ohio, the author explores how “exposure to diversity,” an implicit racial socialization practice, has become a defining feature of how some middle-class white parents teach their children about race and reflect on what it means to be a good white parent. Exposure to diversity involves white parents’ active efforts to expose their children to people of color via trips to multiracial parks, enrollment in multiracial schools, or residence in multiracial neighborhoods.
  5. What Should Children Learn? Americans’ Changing Socialization Values, 1986–2018

    Assessing changes in socialization values for children provides a unique window into how Americans perceive the landscape of their society. We examine whether, since the mid-1980s, Americans (1) emphasized survival values, like hard work, for children, as economic precarity rose or (2) prioritized self-expression values, like autonomy and compassion, as expected in postindustrial society.
  6. Time Deficits with Children: The Link to Parents’ Mental and Physical Health

    Time spent with children has become a central concern in North American parenting culture. Using the 2011 Canadian Work, Stress, and Health Study (n = 2,007), the authors examine employed parents’ perceptions about having too little time with children and whether these relate to parents’ mental and physical health. The “pernicious stressor” hypothesis posits that the demands of paid work combined with intensive mothering or involved fathering create unique time tensions that act as chronic stressors and that these are associated with poorer health and well-being.
  7. The Costs and Benefits of Parenthood for Mental and Physical Health in the United States: The Importance of Parenting Stage

    Although research finds that parents report greater depression than nonparents, we do not know whether the costs and benefits of parenthood for mental and physical health vary across parenting stages. Using the first wave of data from National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS; N = 2,730), we examine disparities in eight measures of mental and physical health between nonparents and parents whose youngest child is: (1) under 13, (2) 13 to 17, (3) 18 to 29, and (4) 30 years and older.
  8. Even Supermoms Get the Blues: Employment, Gender Attitudes, and Depression

    This study examines how gender attitudes moderate the relationship between employment and depressive symptoms using data from the 1987 to 2006 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Cohort. Results indicate that at age 40, the association of employment with reduced symptoms of depression is greatest for mothers who had previously expressed support for traditional gender roles. This finding was robust to controls for prior depressive symptoms.
  9. Gender, Couples’ Fertility Intentions, and Parents’ Depressive Symptoms

    Unintended childbearing is associated with poorer parental well-being, but most scholarship in this area takes an individual-level approach to unintended childbearing. Drawing on couple data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), I treat unintended childbearing as a couple-level construct to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how individuals’ intentions, partners’ intentions, and gender are linked with psychological distress in the transition to parenthood. I make two chief contributions to prior research.
  10. Linked Lives in Double Jeopardy: Child Incarceration and Maternal Health at Midlife

    Parents’ relationships with their adult children play an important role in shaping mid and later life health. While these relationships are often sources of support, stressors in the lives of children can compromise parents’ health as they age. I consider that a child’s incarceration is also a stressor that could imperil parents’ health through social, emotional, and economic strains that parents may experience as a result.