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Impact of parental leave on the overall health of the child: What are the mechanisms?

The parental leave policy aims to improve the health of mother and child by providing parents with legal protection in their employment and financial support when taking leave.

This policy has shown great potential to improve the well-being of families, although few studies have demonstrated clear benefits on the overall health of the child.


The objectives of this project are:

  1. To verify whether the paternity leave policy, introduced in Quebec in 2006, has reduced the proportion of mental health difficulties among fathers and mothers in the perinatal context.

  2. Establish parental leave user profiles based on multiple indicators such as eligibility for the Quebec parental insurance plan, total duration of leave, proportion of income covered and type of leave used (maternity, paternity, shared leave).

  3. Examine associations between parental leave profiles, parents' psychological well-being and children's overall health (e.g., cognitive, motor, physical health) in the early years of life.

  4. Explore how family characteristics (e.g., family composition, socioeconomic status) moderate these associations.


This project has great potential for benefits, because the anticipated results will enable us to provide decision-makers with guidance on which aspects of parental leave should be improved, for whom and under what circumstances it can be beneficial or detrimental to parents' mental health and child development trajectories.

Are you interested in this project?

We are currently seeking a postdoctoral fellow to conduct research on the association between parental leave patterns and children's cognitive, social and emotional development.


To find out more, please consult the job offer in English and French.

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