Nonstandard maternal work schedules during infancy: Implications for children's early behavior problems

Stephanie S. Daniel, Joseph G. Grzywacz, Esther Leerkes, Jenna Tucker, Wen Jui Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the associations between maternal nonstandard work schedules during infancy and children's early behavior problems, and the extent to which infant temperament may moderate these associations. Hypothesized associations were tested using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care (Phase I). Analyses focused on mothers who returned to work by the time the child was 6 months of age, and who worked an average of at least 35 h per week from 6 through 36 months. At 24 and 36 months, children whose mothers worked a nonstandard schedule had higher internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Modest, albeit inconsistent, evidence suggests that temperamentally reactive children may be more vulnerable to maternal work schedules. Maternal depressive symptoms partially mediated associations between nonstandard maternal work schedules and child behavior outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-207
Number of pages13
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Early behavior problems
  • Infant temperament
  • Maternal depressive symptoms
  • Maternal nonstandard work schedules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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