LATINO VOICES
04/14/2014 01:21 pm ET | Updated Jun 23, 2014

Why Hispanic Stay-At-Home Moms May Be On To Something

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Hispanic women are more likely to be stay-at-home moms, and new research indicates this parenting trend is steadily increasing.

According to data from the Pew Research Center, the number of mothers who now stay at home has rise from 23 percent in 1999 to 29 percent in 2012, with Hispanics, Asians and immigrant mothers most likely to remain in the home regardless of financial needs.

A report on the new study from CNBC indicates the moms who are staying home are younger, less educated, more likely to just have a high school diploma, and are more likely to be in poverty. In fact almost a third of these moms are in poverty, staying home not because they want to but often because their workplace did not offer them reasonable childcare options.

Many of these women are home because they simply can’t find employment, and others stay at home for a combination of employment and cultural expectations. Hispanics, for example, tend to place significant importance on the role of family and are less likely to be comfortable leaving a child in a daycare setting with people who are viewed as strangers.

But Hispanic mothers may be doing something right by staying home with their babies, and two major studies support the idea of a stay-at-home parent during a child’s pre-adolescent years.

The potential health benefits of being a stay-at-home mom

Two groundbreaking studies, one conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the other by the Institute of Child Development of the University of Minnesota support the idea of having a stay-at-home mom–or stay-at-home parent in general.

Both of those studies found that children who spent the majority of their day in a daycare setting experienced higher levels of stress and aggression compared to children who stayed in their own homes, and follow-up research into the area during 2010 also confirmed the findings, but expanded on them, indicating the negative effects of absentee parents carried on well into the adolescent years.

What makes all the difference? Exerts indicate stay-at-home moms are more likely to give children the loving, nurturing attention they need during the most important developmental times of their youth. This benefit is not one that is unique to parents, however.

According to the Baby Center, a caring nanny or childcare professional can give children the nurturing they require without negatively impacting development. The difficulty is that private childcare is often very expensive, and finding an individual with the same beliefs and mannerisms as a parent can be a difficult task.

Another plus to being a stay-at-home-mom is lower stress levels for the adult. Research indicates that parents who stay at home for childcare are less likely to be stressed from managing a job, childcare and housework.

Staying at home often allows a parent to multitask throughout the day, decreasing the amount of time spent after work just trying to get everyone’s lives organized.

Experts indicate there are some negatives to staying at home, and moms who are forced into this position rather than make it by choice can sometimes find themselves under more stress. Staying at home without the contact of a social circle at work or just in general can lead to feelings of a loss of identity and isolation. Stay-at-home moms in this situation who cannot necessarily afford to be without work must also deal with the stress of having to manage tight budgets and go without necessities from time to time.

Originally published on VOXXI as Are Hispanic moms making the right decision by staying home?

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