Child Disability and Parents' Workforce Participation

Maryhelen D'Ottavi, Brown University
Carrie E. Spearin, Brown University

This study explores workforce participation among parents of children with disability. Prior research has found that these families often face increased financial and caregiving burdens, but few have examined the direct effect of these burdens on workforce participation. Greater caregiving demands may make mothers of these children more likely to exit the labor market. In turn, fathers of these children may need to work additional jobs in order to compensate for their partner's withdrawal from the workforce. We examine mother's work trajectories after the birth of a child with or without disability, as well as the subsequent workforce participation of their husbands. Results from matched records of the 1993 NHIS and the 1995 NSFG find that women of children with disability are more likely to spend a greater proportion of their child’s life not working, while preliminary results indicate that their male partners are subsequently working more than one job.

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Presented in Session 59: Disability, Schooling, and Employment