Date of Award

8-11-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Daniel Pasciuti

Second Advisor

Mathew Gayman

Third Advisor

Erin Ruel

Abstract

Maternity leave is the most basic and ubiquitous form of parental leave used in government policies and has been associated with a range of positive maternal and child health outcomes. However, the United States is the only country in the developed world that has not done implemented a government-funded parental leave policy. The purpose of this study was to examine if a paid maternity leave policy directly impacts maternal health and parents’ abilities to engage in health maintenance for their infants, by comparing policies and health outcomes across the United States. Using binary logistic regression, this study tests the following research questions: “Does access to a paid maternity leave policy impact the emotional and physical well-being of mothers?” and “Does access to a paid maternity leave policy allow mothers to meet a higher number of infant ‘well’ visits, thus impacting their infants’ health?”

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