Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The Great Recession could reduce school achievement for children of unemployed

Date:
August 30, 2011
Source:
University of Chicago
Summary:
The Great Recession could have lingering impacts on the children of the unemployed, according to researchers. "There is growing evidence that parental job loss has adverse consequences on children's behavior, academic achievement and later employment outcomes, particularly in economically disadvantaged families," said one expert.

The Great Recession could have lingering impacts on the children of the unemployed, according to researchers at the University of Chicago.

"There is growing evidence that parental job loss has adverse consequences on children's behavior, academic achievement and later employment outcomes, particularly in economically disadvantaged families," said Heather Hill, assistant professor in the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. The material hardship and stress associated with unemployment appears to reduce the quality of the home environment and adversely affect children, Hill and other UChicago researchers have found.

The families that Hill studied were largely low-income. She found that, among young children, a maternal job loss is associated with increasing children's problem behavior in the classroom by more than 40 percent.

She based her work on data collected from single mothers encouraged to go back to work during the welfare reforms of the 1990s. Many of the mothers in the study found work relatively quickly, but subsequently experienced one or more job losses followed by extended periods of unemployment.

Psychological and sociological theories suggest that besides reducing money available to provide for the needs of children, frequent and sustained joblessness could disrupt children's lives by leading to volatile child care arrangements and additional stress at home.

Prior studies suggest that disruptions in child care lead to lower cognitive development and increased behavior problems. Parental stress and depression "can lead to less nurturing and harsher parenting," Hill said.

Parental unemployment can lead to problems for children regardless of the family's income status, however, said Ariel Kalil, professor in the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy Studies.

Kalil studies the impact of parental job loss and unemployment on children and is undertaking new studies focused on the current recession. She found in previous studies of two-parent families that a paternal job loss impacted the welfare of children more significantly than a maternal loss.

Children were 1.6 times more likely to repeat a grade if their father lost a job. Among older children, a father's job loss was associated with more suspensions and disruptions.

"It was not a matter of income only," she said. "Even in families in which the mother earned more money than the father, children were not affected as greatly when she lost a job than were the children in families in which the father lost a job," Kalil said.

The impact of job loss is different for men: "Men's identity is more closely linked to their jobs, and they are less accustomed to performing the household and child care tasks that women are," Kalil explained. Women may be more effective being at home with their children during a period of unemployment.

Kalil is the author of a number of articles on this topic, including "Job Loss at Mid-Life: Managers and Executives Face the 'New Risk Economy,'" published in Social Forces; "Parental Job Loss and Children's Academic Progress in Two-Parent Families," published in Social Science Research; and "Parental Job Loss and Children's Educational Attainment in Black and White Middle Class Families," published in Social Science Quarterly.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago. The original article was written by William Harms. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago. "The Great Recession could reduce school achievement for children of unemployed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830111247.htm>.
University of Chicago. (2011, August 30). The Great Recession could reduce school achievement for children of unemployed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830111247.htm
University of Chicago. "The Great Recession could reduce school achievement for children of unemployed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830111247.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) They can't all read yet, but soon kindergarteners may be able to create basic computer code. Researchers in Massachusetts developed an app that teaches young kids a simple computer programming language. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins