ERIC Number: ED243020
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Motherhood after 28: Career Women Who Waited.
Barber, Betty L.
Trends in fertility patterns show an increase in births among 30- to 40-year-old college educated career women. To investigate the attitudes, characteristics, role stresses, and satisfactions of married career women who have delayed childbearing until after age 28, and the attitudes of their husbands toward their careers and roles, 35 married career women (mean age, 33) completed four surveys, including the Maternal Attitude and Feminine Interest Questionnaire and the Marital Satisfaction Questionnaire, and personal interviews. The husbands completed ten items from the Marital Satisfaction Questionnaire, Spousal Survey. An analysis of the results showed that couples had been married an average of 7 years. The majority of husbands and wives were college educated with an average family income of $50,000; 74% of the women were in educational or managerial careers. Only 11% of the women were taking leave from their careers for full-time mothering. Overall, the women were happily married and reported positive attitudes toward mothering. The transition to parenthood was not highly stress producing, but major changes in time usage and demands for personal energy were cited. Both wives and husbands stated that personal careers and a family were of equal importance. Ninety percent of the wives and 86% of the husbands supported the ideal of equal sharing of housework and childrearing. However, 71% of the wives reported frequent or occasional disagreement over household tasks, since the majority of husbands had not assumed responsibility for the wives traditional household tasks. At the time of the study, husbands participated extensively in their fathering roles through play time activities with the child as well as routine caregiving. Flexible, adjustable work responsibilities and time schedules plus a husband who assumed care of the home and new baby were critical stress reducers for the women. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Family Relations (Washington, DC, October 13-16, 1982).