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Hassan Raza, Brad van Eeden-Moorefield, Joseph G. Grzywacz, Miriam R. Linver and Soyoung Lee

The current longitudinal study investigated the within- and between-person variance in work-to-family conflict and family-to-work conflict among working mothers over time…

Abstract

The current longitudinal study investigated the within- and between-person variance in work-to-family conflict and family-to-work conflict among working mothers over time. It also examined the effects of a nonstandard work schedule and relationship quality on work-to-family conflict and family-to-work conflict using bioecological theory. Results of multilevel modeling analyses showed that there was significant within- and between-person variance in work-to-family conflict and family-to-work conflict. The linear and quadratic terms were significantly related to family-to-work conflict, whereas the quadratic term was significantly associated with work-to-family conflict. There was also a positive relationship between a nonstandard work schedule and work-to-family conflict, whereas relationship quality was negatively associated with family-to-work conflict. Future studies should consider diversity among working mothers to adequately predict work–family conflict. The current study provides important implications for employers to consider, concerning within-and between-person differences among working mothers, which could in turn allow for accommodations and help to decrease work–family conflict.

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The Work-Family Interface: Spillover, Complications, and Challenges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-112-4

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Article

Lorra M. Brown

The purpose of this paper is to explore the perceptions and realities regarding professional advancement following motherhood. Results show great conflict between work and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the perceptions and realities regarding professional advancement following motherhood. Results show great conflict between work and home life regardless of employer support or family‐friendly policies. The paper also seeks to assess conflicting societal attitudes relating to work/family responsibilities and roles, with a focus on the stereotyping and discrimination towards women endemic in the workplace following motherhood.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilized a survey with Likert‐type options and open‐ended questions to measure both perceived and real impact of motherhood on a woman's professional advancement. The sample was purposive featuring working mothers in professional fields at the managerial level and above, all of whom have children who require some level of childcare.

Findings

More than 90 working mothers responded to the survey. The results show a contrast between qualitative and quantitative data and indicate a contradiction between a working mother's expected response and her reality.

Research limitations/implications

Findings indicate that flexible work arrangements do not support working mothers seeking advancement. Limitations may include the size and selection of population.

Practical implications

Working mothers who strive to continue an upward career track following motherhood acknowledge that motherhood has an extreme impact on professional advancement. Many mothers chose to slow down their career path, even when employer policies are family‐friendly.

Originality/value

One of the most compelling findings in this paper is the disparity between women's perception of their situations and the reality of their actual experiences and behaviors, as indicated in the contrasts between the qualitative and the quantitative findings.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article

Sanna Moilanen, Vanessa May, Eija Räikkönen, Eija Sevón and Marja-Leena Laakso

The purpose of this paper is to particularly focus on lone-mother families, comparing the childcare-related challenges experienced by working lone mothers and coupled…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to particularly focus on lone-mother families, comparing the childcare-related challenges experienced by working lone mothers and coupled mothers in three European countries in the context of a 24/7 economy and non-standard working hours (e.g. evening, night and weekend work).

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilises survey data from Finnish, Dutch and British working mothers (n=1,106) collected as part of the “Families 24/7” research project. Multivariate regression analysis is used to analyse the associations between childcare-related challenges, maternal non-standard working, lone motherhood and country of residence.

Findings

The results indicated similar results across the three countries by showing that working lone mothers experience childcare-related challenges more often compared with coupled mothers. Furthermore, an increase in maternal non-standard working associated positively with increased childcare-related challenges in both lone mother and coupled families but lone motherhood did not moderate this association. The findings suggest that, regardless of family form, families in all three countries struggle with childcare arrangements when the mother works during non-standard hours. This possibly relates to the inadequate provision of state-subsidised and flexible formal childcare during non-standard hours and to the country-specific maternal work hours cultures.

Originality/value

This study responds to the need for comparative research on the reconciliation of maternal non-standard working and childcare with self-collected data from three European welfare states. The importance of the study is further highlighted by the risks posed to the maintenance of maternal employment and family well-being when reconciliation of work and childcare is unsuccessful, especially in lone-mother families.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 36 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Abstract

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The Economics of Time Use
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-838-4

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Martha H. Stinson and Peter Gottschalk

We investigate the question of whether investing in a child’s development by having a parent stay at home when the child is young is correlated with the child’s adult…

Abstract

We investigate the question of whether investing in a child’s development by having a parent stay at home when the child is young is correlated with the child’s adult outcomes. Specifically, do children with stay-at-home mothers have higher adult earnings than children raised in households with a working mother? The major contribution of our study is that, unlike previous studies, we have access to rich longitudinal data that allows us to measure both the parental earnings when the child is very young and the adult earnings of the child. Our findings are consistent with previous studies that show insignificant differences between children raised by stay-at-home mothers during their early years and children with mothers working in the market. We find no impact of maternal employment during the first five years of a child’s life on earnings, employment, or mobility measures of either sons or daughters. We do find, however, that maternal employment during children’s high school years is correlated with a higher probability of employment as adults for daughters and a higher correlation between parent and daughter earnings ranks.

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Inequality: Causes and Consequences
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-810-0

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Pamela Aronson and Jeylan T. Mortimer

Studies of the work “choices” of mothers are plentiful – from the factors that influence occupational selection to the reasons why women work or “opt out” when they have…

Abstract

Studies of the work “choices” of mothers are plentiful – from the factors that influence occupational selection to the reasons why women work or “opt out” when they have children. However, we know little about how subjective preference for full or part-time work is “aligned” or “misaligned” with mothers’ objective work status. Based on qualitative interviews from the MacArthur Network’s “Transition to Adulthood and Public Policy” study, we consider the “alignment” of objective work intensity (full vs. part time) and subjective preferences, finding that one-third of the working mothers in the sample are “misaligned.” At the same time, the majority preferred full-time work: two-thirds (66 percent) either wanted to work full time and did so, or wanted to work full time but were actually employed part time. One-third of the working mothers had a preference for part-time work (although some worked full time). Only 12 percent of the working mothers in the sample were able to work part time and desired this arrangement. Furthermore, regardless of the alignment of their objective work status and preference, the majority of these mothers emphasized self-fulfillment and intrinsic satisfaction though work.

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Visions of the 21st Century Family: Transforming Structures and Identities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-028-4

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Book part

Cecile Wetzels

One of the most important changes in the past few decades influencing the way in which early childhood is experienced in European countries is the dramatic increase of…

Abstract

One of the most important changes in the past few decades influencing the way in which early childhood is experienced in European countries is the dramatic increase of mothers with young children who are also active in the paid labour force. The Dutch case is exemplary of this change. Dutch women's labour force participation increased from internationally the lowest rate for married women at 7.3% in 1960, to 32.8% in 1987 and to 58.7% in 2005. The latter was above the average participation rate in the European Union (15 countries) (Statistics Netherlands, CBS, 2006). In addition, the proportion of employed mothers with children below the age of 6 more than doubled in less than a decade: from 26% in 1988 to 57% in 1996 (OSA, 1997).1 In 2003, 90% of women in the Netherlands remained in the labour force after giving birth to their first child, although they worked fewer hours (Statistics Netherlands, CBS, 2006). Children who are born in the Netherlands nowadays, therefore, generally have a mother working in the labour market, who has to organise her time around the triple needs of care, income and professional demands. This substantial change from the situation still prevalent in the mid-eighties, is somewhat counter-balanced by changes in fathers’ behaviour following the birth of a child. While in most European countries fathers increase their labour force participation when they have a child (see e.g. Plantenga & Siegel, 2004), an increasing proportion of Dutch fathers on the contrary reduces it. 10% of first-time fathers reduced their working hours when their child was born in 1997, 13% did so in 2003 (Statistics Netherlands, CBS, 2006).2

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Childhood: Changing Contexts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1419-5

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Article

Usha R. Rout, Cary L. Cooper and Helen Kerslake

Expands on research which has demonstrated that employment has positive or neutral effects on women’s health. This pilot study examines whether these positive effects…

Abstract

Expands on research which has demonstrated that employment has positive or neutral effects on women’s health. This pilot study examines whether these positive effects could also be found in employed mothers by comparing working mothers with non‐working mothers on measures of mental health, self‐esteem, and mother role satisfaction. Also this study assesses the stress experienced by these mothers and examines the coping strategies used by them. Of the 200 questionnaires distributed, 101 were returned giving a 50.5 per cent return rate of which 78 per cent were working mothers and 22 per cent non‐working mothers. The working mothers had better mental health and reported less depression than the non‐working mothers. The most frequently reported source of stress for working mothers was not having enough time to do everything, whereas for non‐working mothers lack of social life was a major stressor. The findings of this study support the expansion hypothesis, which emphasizes the benefits rather than the costs of multiple role involvement.

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Women in Management Review, vol. 12 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article

Toyin Ajibade Adisa, Gbolahan Gbadamosi and Ellis L.C. Osabutey

Given the reality that working mothers experience difficulties in achieving work-family balance because of the social restrictions that arise from parenting combined with…

Abstract

Purpose

Given the reality that working mothers experience difficulties in achieving work-family balance because of the social restrictions that arise from parenting combined with career goals, this paper aims to explore the various coping strategies that are used by working mothers in the cities of London (Great Britain) and Lagos (Nigeria).

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 72 mothers who worked in banks in London (Great Britain) and Lagos (Nigeria). Thematic analysis and investigator triangulation are used.

Findings

The findings reveal various coping strategies used by working mothers in the cities of Lagos and London. The paper also unearths the efficiency and the shortcomings of the use of au pairs among British working mothers and the similarities and disparities in terms of such use compared to the traditional use of housekeepers in Nigeria.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the existing work–family balance literature by exploring the coping strategies of working mothers because of sociocultural and institutional differences in Great Britain and Nigeria.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Article

Shuhua Liu, Joanna Carlsson and Sirpa Nummila

Mothers, especially working mothers, take an active role in many activities. They manage the family’s daily lives. They take care of children. They work or study. And they…

Abstract

Mothers, especially working mothers, take an active role in many activities. They manage the family’s daily lives. They take care of children. They work or study. And they also strive to take care of themselves. Working mothers are normally overloaded with all kinds of tasks ‐ almost on a daily basis, year after year. Although there are many many kinds of useful information and services available over the Internet that could be a big help to mothers, working mothers or mothers with children around them at home are often so occupied that they cannot afford the luxury of sitting in front of a computer to access those services. So, what kind of services could help to make their lives a bit easier? Readily accessible mobile services over the wireless network seem to be exactly what they need. But what mobile e‐services do working mothers need? What is the specific added value offered by such services? These form the issues that we will address in this paper.

Details

Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

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