Parenting and research productivity: New evidence and methods

Laura A. Hunter, Erin Leahey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


To date, studies on how having children affects the research productivity of academics, and whether the effects differ by gender, have had inconsistent findings. Using nuanced measures of parental obligations and linear growth modeling, we analyzed the effects of children on the entire careers of academics in two disciplines - linguistics and sociology - and tested for differential effects by gender. In addition, we modeled not only productivity, but also visibility, another component of scholarly success. Our findings suggest that after the birth a child, productivity growth declines, but more so for women. Thus, children account for part of the gender gap in rates of productivity over time. Children also have an impact on the research visibility of academics, but cannot account for gender differences in visibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-451
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Studies of Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • Academic careers
  • Children
  • Gender
  • Research productivity
  • Research visibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • General Social Sciences
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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