ERIC Number: ED314683
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Social Networks: Do They Affect Role Change in Adult Women?
Cornwall, Katharine K.
The lives of adult women tend to be framed by emotional relationships created early in the life course that reflect the social roles of daughter, friend, wife, and mother. These bonds, often long-term, persist in later adult life and shape decisions made about job and career trajectories through their implementation or not in the social networks that women create and sustain over time. Consequently, when women decide to take on a new role or elaborate an old one, new behaviors may be guided by their existing social network. Women's use of social support depends upon several factors: individual appraisal of personal resources and coping strategies, resources conceived as available from the social network, appraisal of stressors from contextual and personal viewpoints and an overall evaluation of the costs and benefits of utilization of one's social network. Women continually reevaluate their choices about role behavior through the filter of important emotional relationships. Data from a replicated, single subject design examining women's (N=12) evaluations of success as reentry students support the idea that adult women tend to plan, choose, and evaluate their behavior within the context of important relationships. In times of transition, peer group acceptance and companionship may be more supportive for adult women than the traditional components of social support. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (97th, New Orleans, LA, August 11-15, 1989).