Thesis

Employed and non-employed women's attitudes related to family roles

The purpose of this study was to examine the different attitudes held by women in both dual-earning and traditional families who had at least one child under the age of five years, in relation to the women's personal lives, social lives and occupations. The study focused on how a mother's employment/non-employment affected her attitudes toward children, motherhood, fatherhood, and allocation of household and childrearing tasks. A total of 243 women responded to a 50 item questionnaire distributed at six childcare facilities and preschools where their children attended, a total of 131 women were employed and 112 were non-employed. Demographic variables such as the amount of hours employed, marital status, age, education and income were analyzed against each of the attitude questions in the survey. Employed and non-employed women differed in attitudes toward their children, what they expected from their spouses in the way of help and support, and how satisfied they were with their employment status. For example, employed women were less satisfied with the time spent with their children and felt more guilt about not being with them than non-employed mothers. Employed women felt less stressed about their spouses's participation or lack of participation in household and childcare tasks than did non-employed women. A greater number of employed women felt more conflicted about leaving their children to go to work than did non-employed women's feelings of unhappiness and frustration about staying home.

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