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United States paid parental leave and infant mortality

Brandy Snyder (The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Cizik School of Nursing, Houston, Texas, USA)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 10 January 2020

Issue publication date: 20 February 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to synthesize findings on the effects of existing paid parental leave programs on infant mortality rates (IMR) in the USA as an attempt to aid in efforts for the development of a national paid parental leave policy.

Design/methodology/approach

Three articles were reviewed to analyze findings on the effects of existing parental leave programs on IMR in the USA.

Findings

The results from the three studies analyzed indicate that unpaid parental leave and parental leave with partial wage replacement can reduce IMR in households with college educated, working mothers.

Research limitations/implications

This review is limited due to only having three studies available to synthesize that pertained to the USA. Implications for future research are to examine the effects of fully paid parental leave programs offered by individual organizations on IMR in the USA.

Social implications

Providing a needs-based income replacement policy to mothers who wish to take parental leave after the birth of a child may be the best policy to decrease IMR for infants from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

Originality/value

The findings in this review will aid in the ongoing efforts to develop a national paid parental leave policy in the USA.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Citation

Snyder, B. (2020), "United States paid parental leave and infant mortality", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 40 No. 1/2, pp. 145-153. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-10-2019-0197

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited