alexa Maternal employment and child cognitive outcomes: the importance of analytic approach.
Microbiology

Microbiology

Applied Microbiology: Open Access

Author(s): Burchinal MR, ClarkeStewart KA

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Abstract J. Brooks-Gunn, W. J. Han, and J. Waldfogel (2002) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care Research Network (ECCRN; 2000b) came to different conclusions about the effects of maternal employment--although they were addressing similar questions using the same data set. Brooks-Gunn et al. concluded that maternal employment in infancy has a negative effect on children's cognitive abilities at age 3, whereas the ECCRN found that early nonmaternal care is not related to children's cognitive abilities in their first 3 years. The authors account for this difference by comparing 2 approaches to data analysis: a top-down testing of continuous variables (the approach used by the ECCRN, 2000b) and an a priori comparison approach that involves pairwise testing of specific dichotomous contrasts (the approach used by Brooks-Gunn et al., 2002). This comparison illustrates the critical importance of analytic approach. It also suggests that Brooks-Gunn et al.'s conclusion from this data set is overstated and should not be used on its own as the basis for practical or policy decisions. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved. This article was published in Dev Psychol and referenced in Applied Microbiology: Open Access

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