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Children’s Stress Levels Directly Related To Maternal Job Satisfaction

A study conducted on nearly 50 nursery school children has revealed that mothers with lower job satisfaction tend to carry it on to their children as well, //resulting in elevated stress levels. The levels of cortisol, stress hormones were considerably higher amongst the group of children studied.

More specifically, levels of cortisol in these children were greater than twice the normal levels in the evening. On the other hand, children of women who enjoyed their work and were emotionally less exhausted had lower levels of the hormone.

Saliva samples were taken from nearly 56 children, aged between 3 and 4 years of age, to measure levels of the hormone. As a parallel approach, mothers were also questioned about their workplace conditions and life at home for a period of six months.

Any form of stress, either physical or mental is associated with an increase in cortisol secretion. This is a wonderful mechanism conferred by Mother Nature without which we would not be able to adapt ourselves to everyday life situations. The problem occurs when due to some reason; the levels of cortisol remain elevated for a considerable length of time. This chronic elevation in the hormone levels can have disastrous consequences on the health of an individual.

In addition, children from families that were either highly expressive or reserved also had higher than the normal levels of the hormone. Hopefully, the study also reveals that placing such children in childcare units can overcome the above-mentioned effects.

In view of the findings listed above, it may be time for employers to look into their employee’s health more closely and offer a wide range of affordable options to ensure job satisfaction and thereby enhance work performance.

According to Dr. David Jessop, from the University of Bristol, ‘Improving the job satisfaction of working mothers means that they are less stressed themselves, and extending the av ailability of affordable and adequate childcare may not only improve the quality of life for the mothers, but in doing so may improve the long term health of their children.’

Certain companies have already established childcare units in or near the workplace, to take care of their employee’s children. This has offered flexibility for women folk to visit such centers during break hours and allows them to work rest of the day without any preoccupation
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