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Maternal (perinatal) mental health and employment: an agenda for research and practice

Wilkinson, Krystal (2022) Maternal (perinatal) mental health and employment: an agenda for research and practice. Human Resource Management Journal. ISSN 0954-5395

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Abstract

Whilst there is a rich literature on maternity and employment, and an emerging literature on mental health and employment, which inform policy and human resources (HR) practice, there is a lack of consideration of the intersection of these issues—the two-way relationship between maternal (specifically ‘perinatal’) mental health and employment. To understand individual employee perinatal mental health and employment experiences and pathways, and also trends in workplace experience in different contexts, researchers should consider the interaction of four elements: the body; the socio-cultural context; individual agency and time. Drawing on existing transdisciplinary literature and illustrative examples from the UK context, a series of issues for exploration are identified at different levels of a bio-ecological systems framework. The article concludes with implications for HR management practice.

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