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Purpose: This study explores how parents' choice of taking parental leave relates to preschoolers' developmental outcomes at 36 months old and 48 months old. We also examine the relationship between parental leave and the developmental progress from 36 months to 48 months old. Design/methodology/approach: Data come from two waves of the survey of Kids in Taiwan: National Longitudinal Study of Child Development and Care. The observations in this study include 1,891 preschoolers (with an almost balanced gender ratio) when they were 36 months old and 48 months old. All data were reported by the primary caregivers: 79.7% by biological mothers, 17.5% by biological fathers, and the remainder by other caregivers. We use the principal components analysis (PCA) to select variables for the developmental outcomes and propensity score matching (PSM) to mitigate the potential threat of endogeneity from the ordinary least square (OLS) estimations. Findings/results: Preschoolers whose parents take parental leave show better developmental outcomes in t tests. After controlling for additional variables and applying the PSM, there is almost no statistically significant relationship between parental leave and developmental outcomes. Estimation results suggest that other factors, including female children, Taiwanese mothers, firstborns, the higher education level of parents and higher monthly income, are associated with better developmental outcomes. When we divide the sample into higher-and lower-income families, the developmental advantage of female children does not exist in lower-income families, while the advantage of Taiwanese mothers does not exist in higher-income families when children are 36 months old. The progress between 36 and 48 months is also not significantly correlated with parental leave status. We argue that higher-educated parents are more likely to take parental leave, and these parents may also utilize more resources to promote children's development. This may explain why we do not observe significant correlations with parental leave in the regression models. Originality/value: Study on the relationship between parental leave and preschoolers' developmental outcomes needs to consider children's gender and the family's socioeconomic background.


Dunst, C. J. (1993). Implications of risk and opportunity factors for assessment and intervention practices. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 13(2), 143-153. https://doi.org/10.1177/027112149301300204
王天苗(2004)。幼兒發展與學習之影響因素探討。特殊教育研究學刊,27,1-18。 [Wang, T. M. (2004). Biological and environmental factors related to child development and school outcomes. Bulletin of Special Education, 27, 1-18.]
王俞媗(2016)。育嬰假對小孩健康的影響(未出版之碩士論文)。國立臺灣大學社會科學院經濟學系,臺北市。 [Wang, Y. H. (2016). How does parental leave affect child health? (Unpublished master’s thesis). National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.]
王珮玲(2016)。幼兒發展評量與輔導。新北市,心理出版社。 [Wang, P. L. (2016). Early childhood development assessment and counseling. New Taipei City, Taiwan: Psychological Publishing Co., Ltd.]
王靜、何守森、王慧、關春榮、袁強、袁春香、黃曉玲、安祥美、周亞平(2013)。 幼兒社會情緒發展影響因素的研究。中国儿童保健雜誌,21,1250-1253。 [Wang, J., He, S. S., Wang, H., Guan, C. R., Yuan, Q., Yuan, C. X., & Zhou, Y. P. (2013). Study on the influence factors of the toddlers’ emotional and social competence development. Chinese Journal of Child Health Care, 21, 1250-1253.]