If it seems your child gets sick or hurt more than other children, it could be because you are an Atlanta working mother. That's right, according to a 2011 research study from North Carolina State University, children who have mothers that work actually experience more health problems than children who have mothers that stay home.
In examining 20 years of data for 89,000 children between the ages 7-17, the study concludes that children of working mothers are significantly more likely to experience accidents and sickness like asthma. What's most surprising is that these health episodes, whether it be hospitalizations, asthma attacks, or injuries and poisonings increase by nearly 200 percent when mom works.
But while the author of the study, Dr. Melinda Morrill points out no one should make "sweeping value judgements based on a mother's decision to work or not work" it's clear that at least according to this study, there are trade-offs between income and time. Apparently mothers who work impact, in part, their children’s health and reflect their own underlying preferences. "It is important that we are aware of the costs and benefits associated with a mother’s decision to work,” Morrill says.
While other studies have shown that, on average, children have better health outcomes when the mother works because of increased income and the availability of health insurance (316,000 children in Georgia are uninsured), Morrill's study seems to infer that factors like relying on someone else to watch a working mom's own child may lead to more injuries, or the lack of time she may have to prepare healthy meals or clean house could weaken immune systems, thereby leading to less healthy kids.
Well Atlanta working moms (and dads)...what do you think about this research? Do you agree with the findings?