Impact of Parental Leave on Child Global Health: What Are the Mechanisms?

Principal investigator


Félix Berrigan, Caroline Fitzpatrick, Martine Shareck, Anne-Marie Côté

Project status:


May 2022 - April 2024


Parental leave policy is designed to benefit mother and child health by giving parents legal job protection and providing financial support when they take leave from work. This policy has shown great potential to improve family wellbeing, although few studies have shown clear benefits on child global health outcomes. The objectives of this project are to: 1) establish profiles of parental leave using multiple indicators (e.g., total duration, length of coverage, proportion of income covered), 2) examine cross-sectional associations between profiles of parental leave and child global health (e.g., cognitive, motor, physical health) during the first year of life, 3) explore how family characteristics (e.g., family composition, socio-economic status) moderate these cross-sectional associations. Mothers of newborns will be recruited through the Centre Mère-Enfant (CHUS Fleurimont). The PI will have access to contact information of the mothers who recently gave birth at this hospital. Mothers will be invited to complete an online survey when their baby is 6 months old (N= 400). The survey will include questions on child health outcomes, parental leave as well as larger family and socioeconomic context. Latent profile analysis and multiple regressions will be performed. This study will allow us to better understand the impacts of parental leave on children global health. Additional funding from CIHR will be sought in the Spring 2023 to pursue subsequent follow-ups with this sample to better understand the evolving health consequences.

Funding Organization:

Centre de Recherche Mère-Enfant de l’UdeS - CRC sur la préparation à l’école - Programme pilote de subvention pour la recherche interdisciplinaire et interfacultaire - Université de Sherbrooke
Axis 1:
Facilitate the development of adaptive capacities in children who are at risk due to personal or environmental characteristics.