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Mothers employed full-time outside the home could gain more than just cash for their labours – the activity could also give a boost to their health.

A study by U.S. researchers revealed that mothers who work full-time are healthier at age 40 than stay-at-home moms, moms who work part-time, or moms who have had some outside jobs but are frequently unemployed.

The findings are based on long-term observations of 2,540 women who become moms between 1978 and 1995.

"Work is good for your health, both mentally and physically," co-author Adrianne Frech of the University of Akron said in a statement released with the study presented in Denver at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. "It gives women a sense of purpose, self-efficacy control and autonomy. "

Full-time employment has many advantages, according to Dr. Frech. Working part-time, on the other hand, provides lower pay and fewer benefits, less chance of promotion and more job insecurity. Stay-at-home mothers are at elevated risk of both financial dependence and social isolation, she noted.

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