Paid Leave and Maternal Depressive Symptoms After Childbirth: The Moderating Role of Perceived Fairness of the Division of Household Labor

Woosang Hwang, Eunjoo Jung, Andrea V. Shaw, Renee Mestad, Sandra D. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examined whether using paid leave is directly linked to employed mothers’ depressive symptoms. In addition, we examined the moderating effect of employed mothers’ perceived fairness of division of household labor (housework and childcare) on the above association. We collected data from 92 employed mothers who were eligible to take paid leave and returned to the workplace after childbirth in Upstate New York State area. Using hierarchical regression analyses, we found that employed mothers’ paid leave use was not significantly associated with their levels of depressive symptoms. However, perceived fairness of division of household labor moderated the above association. Specifically, when employed mothers took paid leave, they reported lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who did not take leave when they perceived that the division of household labor was fair to them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-239
Number of pages15
JournalFamilies in Society
Volume102
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • childbirth
  • division of household labor
  • employed mothers
  • maternal depressive symptoms
  • paid leave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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