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Effects on Children When Both Parents Are Employed

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
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Socio-economic conditions in North America have contributed to the need for dual incomes for

families.   Economically, "the number of two parent families below the poverty line would increase to an

estimated 78% if they were to become single income families." (Ontario Women's Directorate   9)   Socially,

it was the norm, in the past, for women to stay at home having a more expressive role in the family;

taking care of the children and providing emotional support for the family.   Presently, women feel that

their traditional roles as child bearers and homemakers must be supplemented with a sense of achievement

outside the home.   Recent studies reflect an increased trend towards the dual income family and

projections are for this trend to continue.   In 1961, 30% of married women were working; in 1978, 38%

were employed; by 1981 50% were working and in 1985, 55% held paying positions outside the home. (Jarman

and Howlett   95)   In 1961, only 20% of all two parent families were!

dual wage families, but by 1986, more than half (53%) of all families were dual earning families. (Ramu


        In light of the fact that the majority of two parent families in the 1990's have also become dual

wage earning families, it is important to examine the effects of such a phenomenon on society in general

and on child rearing in particular.   Children acquire their goals, values and norms based on the way that

they view or identify with their parents as well as from the quality and amount of care, love and

guidance given to them by their parents.   Parents who work present a different image to their children

than parents who do not work.   In addition, wage earners, including parents, must (in most cases), be

absent from the home during the day.   When considering these modifications to the family dynamics, there

is considerable basis for proof that the...


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