Articles

Maternal age and parenting strategies

Silvia Meggiolaro, Fausta Ongaro

Abstract


In recent decades, the age that women give birth to their children has been gradually increasing in many developed countries. This trend may have important consequences for parenting. The present study aims to analyze whether and how maternal age influences parents' strategies with respect to the presence of parents in their children’s daily life. Using data from the 2005 Italian Birth Sample Survey, we focus on the early infancy period and consider three domains of parenting: a) support for the baby’s care (grandparents, babysitter, or crèche), b) the mothers’ return to work after childbirth, and c) the father’s time spent with the child. Results show that maternal age has mixed effects depending on the employment status of the mothers. Older unemployed mothers are more prone to adopt traditional parenting models than their younger counterparts. On the contrary, employed older mothers are more likely than younger ones to have less traditional parenting models.

Silvia MEGGIOLARO, Researcher, Department of Statistical Sciences, Universityof Padua, Via Cesare Battisti, 241, 35121-Padova, Italy. E-mail: meg@stat.unipd.it.

Fausta ONGARO, Professor of Demography, Department of Statistical Sciences, Universityof Padua, Via Cesare Battisti, 241, 35121-Padova, Italy. E-mail: ongaro@stat.unipd.it.


Keywords


maternal age, child’s care, mother’s return to work, fathers’ involvement.

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Identifiers



ISSN: 2035-5556

Reg. Tribunale di Roma n. 3321/54