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Review on Maternal Employment

Autor:   •  March 17, 2011  •  Essay  •  710 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,194 Views

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Holding simultaneous roles as employee and mother is now a lifestyle adopted by approximatelytwo-thirds of North American mothers with children living at home (Mann and Thornburg,1987; Waldman, 1983). Several assumptions or biases have generally pervaded research onthe growing number of women who occupy the role of employed mother. These include theassumption that employed mothers, their marriages and their children suffer in comparisonto non-employed mothers. Also because of the cultural prescription which accords priorityto the maternal role, most research has focused on whether work affects a mother's family,rather than evaluating whether family demands interfere with performance at work (Barling,1990). Page 2

496J. BARLING AND K. E. MACEWENartificially increase the likelihood of supporting the hypotheses. In addition, the present studyproposes a mechanism by which the experience of being an employed mother may affect workperformance. Also, most studies have examined the employment experiences singly, whereasin the present study they are examined jointly and specific hypotheses regarding their differentialeffects are proposed.Before describing the rationale underlying the study in more detail, it is first necessary tojustify the use of the term "employed mother' to denote a single role. To be an employedmother is more than the sum of being an employer/employee and being a mother. The employedand maternal aspects of being an employed mother are not two separate roles. As researcherssuch as Hall (1972) have found, employed mothers experience their maternal and employmentdemands simultaneously in the sense that while they are at work they do not place familyconcerns aside and vice versa. The concept of the role of employed mother is consistent withother research investigating maternal employment experiences. Lerner and Galambos (1985),for example, discussed the importance of satisfaction with one's role, whether that be a non-employed mother or an employed mother. Satisfaction with one s role clearly refers to satisfactionwith being a mother and being employed, rather than with either of the components of maternalemployment alone.Most researchers now agree that as a group, mothers who are employed do not differ fromnon-employed mothers on a variety of outcomes, including their personal well-being, maritaladjustment and their children s well-being, and that attempts to uncover negative effects ofmaternal employment are no longer empirically justifiable (Baruch and Barnett, 1986; Warrand Parry, 1982a).


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