What the Study About 'Mommy Time' Did Wrong

Upshot blog: It's not enough to take a look at just 2 days
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2015 1:23 PM CDT
What the Study About 'Mommy Time' Did Wrong

A story making the rounds earlier this week suggested that the amount of time parents spend with their kids doesn't make much of a difference in how the kids turn out. Don't believe it, writes Justin Wolfers of the Upshot blog at the New York Times. The study on which the conclusion is based is nowhere near thorough enough to make that kind of claim. For one thing, it measured parental activity on just two days, one on the weekend and one during the week.

"The result is that whether you are categorized as an intensive or a distant parent depends largely on which days of the week you happened to be surveyed," writes Wolfers. That would be like trying to get a sense of somebody's income by looking at a single day. If that day happened to be a payday, things look great. Otherwise, not so much. So yes, maybe stressed parents should grab some more "me" time for the good of themselves and their kids. "But we should do so without relying on misleading research." Click for Wolfers' full column. (Read more parenting stories.)

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