ERIC Number: ED262860
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Mothers' Participation in Child Care: Patterns and Consequences. Working Paper No. 137.
Barnett, Rosalind C.; Baruch, Grace K.
Consequences of mothers' participation in child care (interaction and child-care tasks) on 160 Caucasian middle-class fathers and mothers were examined in an interview study of parents of kindergarten and fourth grade children. In half of the families, mothers were employed. Three forms of mothers' participation were examined in relation to two categories of consequences: role strain and well-being. Role-strain items referred to immediate and specific problems such as time and energy constraints and role conflicts. Well-being items assessed self-esteem, life satisfaction, and quality of experience in the parental and marital roles. In general, relationships among mothers' participation and both categories of consequences were stronger in dual-earner families. In these families, mothers' role strain was not consistently related to mothers' participation. In contrast, fathers' role strain was correlated with mothers' participation, especially proportional interaction time. The more mothers did, relative to fathers, the less role strain fathers reported. With respect to well-being consequences, for fathers, increased mothers' participation was associated with decrements in feelings of involvement in the role of parent but gains in assessments of the marriage. The opposite pattern emerged among mothers. Increased maternal participation was associated with more positive feelings in the role of mother and less positive feelings in the marital role. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: Wellesley Coll., MA. Center for Research on Women.
Note: For related working papers, see PS 015 064-PS 015 066. Additional funding was provided by the Henry A. Murray Center, Radcliffe College.