THE EFFECTS OF NEW YORK STATE PAID FAMILY LEAVE ON DUAL-INCOME FAMILIES’ SUBSEQUENT FERTILITY INTENTIONS AND HEALTH OUTCOMES
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Human Development and Family Science
Actor-Partner Interdependence Model, Depression, Paid Family Leave, Physical Health, Subsequent Fertility Intentions, Work-Family Conflict
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Given the economic implications of fertility decline and employees’ challenges in work and family balance, many countries have implemented paid maternity and paternity leave policies to promote employed parents’ well-being and childbirth decisions. However, the efficacy of the paid leave policy is less known in the United States. To address this issue, this study examines whether using paid leave is directly related to dual-income couples’ subsequent fertility intentions and health outcomes (depression, physical health, and work-family conflict). This study collected data from 50 employed wives who returned to the workplace after childbirth, and their employed husbands from the State University of New York Upstate Medical University. The following hypotheses were tested using an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model estimated by Structural Equation Modeling: wives and husbands’ paid leave access and length of paid leave were associated with their own and their partner’s (1) subsequent fertility intentions; (2) depression; (3) physical health; and (4) work-family conflict. This study found that husbands’ length of paid leave was significantly associated with an increase in their own and their wives’ subsequent fertility intentions. This indicates that husbands who took longer paid leave tend to perceive greater subsequent fertility intentions, which is linked to their wives’ high intentions of having another child in the future. In addition, wives’ paid leave access and length of paid leave were significantly associated with a decrease in their own levels of depression. This indicates paid leave is beneficial for alleviating employed women’s depressive symptoms after childbirth. However, other hypothesized associations were not supported by the results. In conclusion, this study provides the empirical evidence to policy makers and researchers that employed wives’ and husbands’ paid leave access and length of paid leave are related to their fertility and health outcomes. Implications about why paid leave is essential for employees, employers, and society, and what individual and familial factors need to be considered to achieve policy success are discussed.
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Hwang, Woosang, "THE EFFECTS OF NEW YORK STATE PAID FAMILY LEAVE ON DUAL-INCOME FAMILIES’ SUBSEQUENT FERTILITY INTENTIONS AND HEALTH OUTCOMES" (2018). Dissertations - ALL. 922.