Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Childcare reduces stress levels for kids with working mums

21.11.2005


Low job satisfaction in working mothers increases the stress levels of their children, but spending longer in childcare can help overcome these effects, new research has shown.



In a study involving more than 50 nursery school children, researchers found higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in children whose mothers found their jobs less rewarding, or left them feeling emotionally exhausted, than those who reported more enjoyment from their jobs.

Levels of cortisol in the evening were more than double in these children.


Yet for women who have low job satisfaction, the research suggests that placing their children in childcare would help to significantly reduce the stress experienced by their children.

The researchers also found that children from families that were either highly expressive or reserved also exhibited higher than average cortisol levels.

The report, published in the journal Developmental Psychobiology today (Monday 21 November 2005), suggests that greater support is needed for working mothers to help improve their job satisfaction and increase the availability of affordable childcare options.

The study was conducted by Dr Julie Turner-Cobb, a health psychologist and senior lecturer at the University of Bath, Dr Christina Chryssanthopoulou from the University of Kent and by Dr David Jessop, a neuroimmunologist at the University of Bristol.

To measure cortisol levels they took saliva samples in the morning and evening from 56 children aged three-four years old. They also surveyed mothers about their workplace conditions and home life over six months.

“Spending more time in childcare makes a big difference to the stress levels in children whose mothers have low job satisfaction,” said Dr Julie Turner-Cobb from the University of Bath.

“It can help protect children from the effects of their mother’s low job quality and emotional exhaustion. Ensuring that mothers of young children have good support in the workplace is essential for supporting both mothers and their children.”

Dr David Jessop, from the University of Bristol, added: “Improving the job satisfaction of working mothers means that they are less stressed themselves, and extending the availability of affordable and adequate childcare may not only improve the quality of life for the mothers, but in doing so may improve the long term health of their children.”

Cortisol is a steroid hormone which regulates blood pressure and cardiovascular function and immune function as well as controlling the body’s use of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

Cortisol secretion increases in response to stress experience, whether physical (such as illness, trauma, surgery, or temperature extremes) or psychological. It is a normal and essential response without which we would not be able to function in everyday life.

But it is when these levels remain high or become disrupted in some way over a prolonged period of time that they may have consequences for health. It is important to promote healthy adaptation to stress in children and good quality childcare is one way of doing this.

The study is part of an ongoing research programme led by Dr Julie Turner-Cobb who is currently following up this work investigating how children adjust to starting primary school and the effect on cortisol production in a study funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC).

The study was also funded by the University of Kent at Canterbury.

Andrew McLaughlin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/articles/releases/stresschildcare211105.html

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>