Paid maternal leave is associated with infant brain function at 3 months of age

Natalie H. Brito, Denise Werchan, Annie Brandes-Aitken, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Ashley Greaves, Maggie Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The first months of life are critical for establishing neural connections relevant for social and cognitive development. Yet, the United States lacks a national policy of paid family leave during this important period of brain development. This study examined associations between paid leave and infant electroencephalography (EEG) at 3 months in a sociodemographically diverse sample of families from New York City (N = 80; 53 males; 48% Latine; data collection occurred 05/2018–12/2019). Variable-centered regression results indicate that paid leave status was related to differences in EEG power (ps <.02, R2s >.12). Convergent results from person-centered latent profile analyses demonstrate that mothers with paid leave were 7.39 times as likely to have infants with EEG profiles characterized by increased higher-Hz power (95% CI, 1.9–36.9), potentially reflecting more mature patterns of brain activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1030-1043
Number of pages14
JournalChild development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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