The United States is the only high-income country that does not have a national policy mandating paid leave to working women who give birth. Increased rates of maternal employment post-birth call for greater understanding of the effects of family leave on infant development. This study examined the links between paid leave and toddler language, cognitive, and socioemotional outcomes (24–36 months; N = 328). Results indicate that paid leave was associated with better language outcomes, regardless of socioeconomic status. Additionally, paid leave was correlated with fewer infant behavior problems for mothers with lower levels of educational attainment. Expanding access to policies that support families in need, like paid family leave, may aid in reducing socioeconomic disparities in infant development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology