Description: The study examined the impact of maternal employment and family life cycle stage on the psychological well-being o£ middle socioeconomic status women. One hundred twenty eight mothers of children at the stages of birth to 6 years, 7 to 12 years and 13 to 17 years, completed a self-report questionnaire. To test the hypothesis of the study, a 3 X 3 (employment X family life cycle stage) analysis of covariance was conducted with age, income, time employed and psychological resources as covariates. Results indicated that middle socioeconomic status mothers employed full-time experienced significantly higher levels of role overload, occupational strain, spouse support and job commitment. A post hoc exploratory analysis using conflict level between commitment to work and parenting, yielded data which indicated that individuals with a large discrepancy between commitment to one role versus the other, experienced the greatest degree of difficulty. Results were evaluated in the light of selective characteristics of the sample. Recommendations for future research included the use of projective assessment to reduce the effect of defensive response styles. A life span approach using the concept of perceived conflict between roles was advanced, instead of the age specific developmental construct of family life cycle stage.
Date: August 1984
Creator: Marcus, Suzanne