By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Betty Friedan, fifty years ago, predicted that American housewives would be happier embarking on lifelong careers. Their marriages would be better and their children would thrive.
Now a Pew study shows that almost two thirds of women are employed, are the sole or main breadwinner and non-workers have more depression, sadness and anger. Women who worked full time after their first child had better mental and physical health at 40 than non-working women and dual–earner couples have the highest marital quality.
Since 1985, mothers and fathers spend more time with their kids, fathers tripling their time, and data from 70 studies show no significant negative effects on intellectual achievement of children of employed mothers.
Britain offers 52 weeks maternity leave, 38 paid, allowing parents to stay home during a child’s early weeks. With children’s rapid brain development in that period, affording US mothers time to stay home, would be beneficial to children’s cognitive development.
Read more about the success of the working woman in The New York Times.