Maternal Work Hours and Adolescents’ School Outcomes Among Low-Income Families in Four Urban Counties

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National Poverty Center

Using data from interviews with 1,700 single mothers of adolescents who went from welfare to full-time work, researchers found that having a mother who works 31 hours or more per week increased the likelihood that a youth would skip school and that schools would contact parents about a youth’s behavior problems, and decreased the youth’s school performance.

Boys showed a particular sensitivity to changes in their mothers’ work hours, with significant increases in tardiness and declines in performance when their mothers’ work hours increased. All findings held true even when researchers controlled for the mothers’ psychological and physical health and experiences with domestic violence and substance abuse. Free. 45 pages. (734) 615-5312,