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By Dr. Mallika Marshall, WBZ-TVBy Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Working moms are spending as much time with their kids as “at-home” mothers did in the early 1970s, but many moms and some dads still feel guilty about not spending even more time with their children. Dr. Mallika Marshall says working moms and dads shouldn’t worry so much. It’s quality time that matters, not quantity.

In the first large-scale study of its kind, researchers found that the amount of time parents spend with their kids between the ages of 3 and 11 has essentially no bearing on how their children do in terms of academic achievement, behavior and emotional well-being.

In fact, researchers identified a time when parents, especially moms, should –not– spend much time with their kids…that is when they’re stressed out, sleep-deprived, anxious and feeling guilty.

What seemed to have a greater effect on a child’s well-being, other than quality time with kids, was parents’ income and educational level.

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