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Mothers, Children, and Child Care in the U.S.

November 4, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Robert Crosnoe
Professor and Chair of Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin


The state of early child care in a society—how accessible it is to families in need, how good it is for children—is a core component of the health, wellbeing, and productivity of the population, but the state of early child care in the U.S. is characterized by considerable inequality. This presentation draws on several years of quantitative research with the NICHD Study of Early Child Care to show how a variety of family disadvantages translate into disadvantages in the early child care market, undermining the future prospects of children and mothers, and then explores media coverage of this long-running federal study to demonstrate how cultural debates about maternal employment, intensive mothering, and the best interests of children slow progress in providing high-quality child care to families.


Robert Crosnoe is the C.B. Smith, Sr. Centennial Chair #4 at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is Chair of the Department of Sociology and a faculty member in the Population Research Center. Prior to coming to Texas, he received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Crosnoe conducts mixed-methods research on the connections among health, child/adolescent development, and education and the contributions of these connections to socioeconomic and immigration-related inequalities in American society. This work has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Science Foundation, Institute of Education Sciences, National Institute of Justice, William T. Grant Foundation, and Foundation for Child Development. His books include Mexican Roots, American Schools: Helping Mexican Immigrant Children Succeed (Stanford University Press), Fitting In, Standing Out: Navigating the Social Challenges of High School to Get an Education (Cambridge University Press), and Asset or Distraction: Physical Attractiveness and the Accumulation of Social and Human Capital from Adolescence and Young Adulthood (Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development with Rachel Gordon), and his new books are Healthy Learners: A Whole Child Approach to Disparities in Early Education (Teachers College Press with Claude Bonazzo and Nina Wu), and Debating Early Child Care: The Relationship between Developmental Science and the Media (Cambridge University Press with Tama Leventhal). Dr. Crosnoe is Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Collaborative on Development in Context and President-Elect of the Society for Research on Adolescence, serves on the Governing Councils for the Society for Research in Child Development and Council on Contemporary Families, and just completed his term as Deputy Editor of Journal of Marriage and Family.


November 4, 2016
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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