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Author: Stewart, Leslie
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Stewart, Leslie
Liu, Yujia
Rodriguez, Eunice
Maternal Unemployment and Childhood Overweight: Is There a Relationship?
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 66,7 (July 2012): 641-646.
Also: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21422027
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group, Ltd. - British Medical Journal Publishing Group
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Child Health; Maternal Employment; Obesity; Unemployment Compensation; Unemployment Duration; Weight; Welfare; Work Hours

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Background: Previous studies have shown a positive association between maternal work hours and childhood overweight. However, it is unclear what role job instability plays in this relationship; therefore, this study examined whether children whose mothers experienced unemployment were more likely to have greater increases in body mass index (BMI) as compared with children whose mothers were stably employed. The effects of unemployment benefits, welfare and number of hours worked were also explored.

Methods: A multiple regression analysis was used to analyse changes in BMI over a 4-year period using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. In all, 4890 US children, aged 2–16 at baseline, were included in the analysis.

Results: As compared with children of mothers who were employed full-time and did not receive welfare, children of mothers who experienced unemployment and received unemployment benefits were not more likely to have significantly different changes in BMI. Yet children of mothers who experienced unemployment and did not receive unemployment benefits were significantly more likely to have greater increases in BMI. These results were also shown in models which controlled for height. This supports the conclusion that adiposity changes, and not simply growth-rate differences, account for the different BMI changes between groups.

Conclusion: Aspects of maternal employment other than number of work hours are associated with child BMI, including unemployment events and what type of support a mother receives during the time of unemployment. This has implications for policies that relate to benefits for mothers who lose their jobs.

Bibliography Citation
Stewart, Leslie, Yujia Liu and Eunice Rodriguez. "Maternal Unemployment and Childhood Overweight: Is There a Relationship?" Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 66,7 (July 2012): 641-646.