Maternal Separation Anxiety

Its Role in the Balance of Employment and Motherhood in Mothers of Infants
  • Ellen Hock
  • Debra DeMeis
  • Susan McBride
Part of the Springer Studies in Work and Industry book series (SSWI)


One clear conclusion from the research on the effects of maternal employment is that the relationships among employment, maternal beliefs, attitudes and practices, and child development are complex and require consideration of many factors. Stolz (1960), in one of the first reviews of the topic, concluded that a striking characteristic of the research on maternal employment was the number of different and often contradictory findings, an observation shared by Hoffman (1974) when she reviewed the literature more than a decade later. Bronfenbrenner and Crouter (1982) made perhaps the most critical observation by stating, “Taken by itself, the fact that a woman works outside the home has no universally predictable effects on the child” (p. 51). The failure to obtain consistent and interpretable results is due in part to the substantial differences among women within each employment status category (Hoffman, 1961, 1984; Lamb, 1982). For example, employed women may differ in their reasons for working, peer and spouse support of their employment, numbers of hours they are employed, and type of job they hold; the list is endless. Consequently, the simple model of comparing employed and nonemployed women and their children cannot be used to examine the effects of employment, and a more complex model must be proposed (Hoffman, 1984). Researchers must identify the differences that exist within the groups of employed and nonemployed women and determine how these differences impact the effects of employment status (Hoffman, 1961, 1984; Lamb, 1982).


Child Care Separation Anxiety Maternal Separation Maternal Employment Maternity Ward 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Hock
    • 1
  • Debra DeMeis
    • 2
  • Susan McBride
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Family Relations and Human DevelopmentOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyHobart and William Smith CollegesGenevaUSA
  3. 3.Graduate SchoolWheelock CollegeBostonUSA

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