Is Mother's Labor Market Participation Related to Childhood Weight Changes in the United States?: Evidence from Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohorts (ECLS-K)

Haeil Jung, Indiana University, Bloomington
Chaeyoung Chang, Indiana University, Bloomington

Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten cohort of 1998-99 (ECLS-K) data sponsored by U.S. Department of Education, we examine whether there is a contemporaneous and lagged effect of maternal employment on the likelihood being underweight, as well as being overweight and obesity; whether the association differs among subpopulations, such as children in different weight classification of the earlier time period, and children in different household income groups; whether family structure variables, such as marital status, cohabitation with siblings, and cohabitation with older adults, are associated with having childhood weight problems. To address our research questions, we pay attention to the multinomial weight classification and BMI percentiles (from CDC growth chart) of 6,481 fifth grade children who have full information of demography, maternal work history, and family structure. The preliminary result shows that while maternal work deteriorates children obesity, it has different effect on children in previously different weight group.

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Presented in Poster Session 4