Doctoral Dissertation Research: Intensive Mothering and Maternal Physical Health

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project explores the health impacts of intensive mothering. Women spend far more time with their children today than in the past several decades. The high cost to parenting may create tensions between investment in children and investment in self. Three principal research questions are addressed: 1) How intensive mothering beliefs and behaviors affect maternal physical health; 2) How the effects in 1) vary by social class and employment status; and 3) How the relationship between intensive mothering and child health is affected by maternal physical health. Findings will have implications for both formal health policies and more informal advocacy for maternal self-care.

This study will conduct a longitudinal analysis using panel data from the Avon Longitudinal Survey of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). This will allow disentangling of the relationships between modern motherhood, maternal health, and child health. The project will address past contradictory evidence on motherhood, social class, and employment status. In addition, it will address recent debates in the literature surrounding the operationalization of intensive mothering.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date5/15/194/30/21


  • National Science Foundation: $12,159.00


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