Postprint version. Published in Child Development, Volume 62, Issue 5, October 1, 1991, pages 954-965. Author Posting. Copyright © 1991 Society for Research in Child Development. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Blackwell Publishing for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version can be found online at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131145.
Associations of 293 mothers' works for earnings and child-care arrangements with the anthropometric status of their children were examined in urban Guatemala. It was hypothesized that during the period of life in which growth often falters (8 through 35 months), maternal employment could be beneficial for children. Informal workers tended to be poorer, less educated, and have more undernourished children than formal workers or nonworkers. When poverty and mother's education were controlled for, no effects of maternal employment on children's anthropometric growth patterns were seen. However, the percent of the family income the mother earned was positively associated with all anthropometric indicators, controlling for confounds. Children taken care of by preteen siblings had significantly lower weight for height than those in other situations, even controlling for SES and maternal employment status. These effects were not found in a 36-48-month-old sample.