ERIC Number: ED311362
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: 0
Clarification of the Role-Quality Concept. Working Paper No. 12.
Barnett, Rosalind C.; Marshall, Nancy
There is general agreement that subjective experience in a role, i.e. role quality, is a better predictor of both physical and mental health measures than is role occupancy per se. In this study the relationships between two aspects of role quality in women's three social roles (paid employee, partner, and parent) and three health measures (psychological well-being, psychological distress, and physical symptoms) were examined. Subjects (N=403) were women health-care providers, licensed practical nurses and social workers, who varied in partnership and parental status. Role quality was defined as a complex construct consisting of two aspects: level of benefit and level of employment. The results indicated that level of benefit, the rewards minus the concerns women experienced in each of her social roles, was consistently and significantly associated with each of the three health measures. For each social role, those women who reported higher levels of rewards compared to concerns also reported higher levels of well-being, lower levels of psychological distress, and fewer physical symptoms. In sharp contrast, level of involvement, the total amount of rewards and concerns experienced in a role, was a significant predictor in only one model; among employed mothers, higher levels of involvement in the parenting role were associated with reports of more symptoms of psychological distress. (ABL)
Descriptors: Employed Women, Models, Mothers, Nurses, Predictor Variables, Quality of Life, Role Conflict, Role Theory, Social Workers, Spouses
Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, Wellesley, MA 02181 ($4.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wellesley Coll., MA. Center for Research on Women.