The relationship between maternal employment and sex-role attitudes, self -reliant behavior, and academic achievement of adolescents

Anne Fay Rothman, Fordham University

Abstract

The projected figures for the year 2000 indicate that 80% of women between the ages of 25 to 64 will be in the labor force. Much of the research on maternal employment was conducted during the 1970s when far fewer women were employed. More recent studies considered maternal employment in a broader conceptualization, but focused primarily on the preschooler and young child. The question remained as to what factors of maternal employment affect adolescent behavior and attitudes.^ This study addressed several questions concerning the relationship of maternal employment intensity, level of maternal employment, maternal role satisfaction, and spousal support and adolescent sex-role attitudes, self-reliant behavior, and academic achievement. Measures of sex-role attitudes and independence were administered to 114 students from a middle-class suburban high school. Their mothers completed a role quality scale that measured role satisfaction as a worker, partner, and parent, as well as an employment chart that assessed their employment history, attitudes towards employment, perceptions of spousal support, and parent satisfaction over the life span of their adolescent.^ The results indicated that there was an absence of any real relationship between the maternal employment variables and the adolescent outcomes. One significant relationship was found between parent role quality and male academic achievement. The results do not support the hypotheses that maternal intensity, level of employment, role satisfaction, and spousal support would affect adolescent behavior and attitudes.^ The implication of these results is that maternal employment per se does not have any deleterious effects on the middle-adolescent child. Indeed, there may be other maternal employment factors that are related to behavior and attitudes among different populations, but this study suggests that there is no overall effect of maternal employment on children with respect to their independence, academic achievement, or sex-role attitudes. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Rothman, Anne Fay, "The relationship between maternal employment and sex-role attitudes, self -reliant behavior, and academic achievement of adolescents" (1993). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9412147.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9412147

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