The Relationship Between Parental Employment Stability and Child Outcome Measures

Thomas Michael Wolfe, Utah State University


The present study investigated the relationship between mothers', fathers', and parents' employment stability and five child cognitive and social outcome measures. A total of 179 children who attended Head Start between 1991 and 1995 participated in the study with their parents. Child outcomes were examined to determine if they varied as a function of employment stability categories. Children of parents possessing stable employment histories had significantly higher Woodcock-Johnson broad knowledge cluster scores than children of parents possessing unstable employment histories. Child outcomes generally did not vary as a function of employment stability categories. Number of employment changes was used to predict child outcomes after controlling moderating variables. Number of changes in mothers' and parents' employment accounted for statistically significant amounts of Woodcock- Johnson broad knowledge cluster score variance. Number of employment changes was generally a poor predictor of child outcomes.