24-09-2020 | Original Paper
Low-wage Work Conditions and Mother–Infant Interaction Quality Across the Transition to Parenthood
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies | Uitgave 12/2020Log in om toegang te krijgen
The present investigation examined the relationship between workplace conditions and mother–infant interaction quality among 65 low-wage, employed mothers. It was hypothesized that the demanding work conditions that new mothers encountered when they returned to paid employment after birth would interfere with parenting quality via increases in maternal depression and anxiety, and that positive work conditions would enhance parenting. Partial support was found for these hypotheses. Mothers who reported greater autonomy at work were less distressed and, in turn, more responsive with their babies. In contrast, workplace urgency—when predictive of increased depression and anxiety—had a deleterious effect on future parenting quality. Contrary to hypotheses, supervisor support did not moderate the negative effects of workplace demands on mothers’ distress or parenting. Results indicate that the conditions of low-wage employment have a meaningful effect on mothers’ mental health and capacity to engage in sensitive parenting during the transition to parenthood.