ERIC Number: ED223961
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Daughters Comment on the Lessons of Their Mothers' Lives. Bunting Institute Working Paper.
Kahn, Diana Grossman
Recent rapid changes in the expectations for women make a literal imitation of one's mother's life increasingly less likely to occur. To explore the process by which the experience of observing their mother's lives becomes a source of their own choices in young adulthood, female junior and senior college students (N=114) responded to an eight-point scale about their preferred lifestyle for the future and wrote open-ended descriptions of their mothers. Three groups of 12 women each were looked at in depth: the most traditional, the most careerist, and a median group. These women participated in a semi-structured interview designed to pursue their responses to models and other sex-role influences. Results indicated that most participants decided that the rewards of imitating their mothers' life patterns were insufficient. The findings suggest that a young woman's assumption as to whether or not career and family are compatible is heavily influenced by the myths and messages in the family of origin and that the example of the mother's life can persuade that marriage and career are compatible, or that a choice must be made between them because of the conviction that family life exists at the expense of the mother. (PAS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Radcliffe Coll., Cambridge, MA. Mary Ingraham Bunting Inst.
Note: For related document, see CG 016 369.