The effect of mothers' employment and social class on their children's school performance, conduct and stress within the Arab community in a mixed city in Israel
The social phenomenon of working mothers has become a fact in the Arab world and in Israel. Several questions were posed regarding the effect of this phenomenon on the development of the employed mothers' children. This study is a pioneer one which investigates the effect of the Arab mothers' employment, in a mixed city (Arab and Jewish citizens) called Acre in Israel, on their children's school performance, conduct, and stress, when considering also the mothers' social class as an intervening variable. The study sample included 200 students who were randomly selected from the only two secondary Arab schools in the mixed city Acre. One is private and the other is public. The study sample included children of working mothers (100) and children of non-working mothers (100). The participants in this study completed a personal data inventory to determine their social class and other demographic data, and the School Situation Survey (Helms and Gable, 1989) to obtain a measurement for their school stress. The average grades of the subjects mathematics, Arabic, Hebrew, and English were used to measure the children's school performance, and ranking evaluations of the school counselors were used to measure the children's school conduct. The findings of the study showed that mothers' employment had no significant effect on the children's school performance, conduct, and stress, except on children of mothers with high educational level and mothers of high social class. On those children, mother's employment had, surprisingly, a significant positive effect on their children's school performance. But, it had no significant effects on their children's school conduct and stress.