ERIC Number: ED454990
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
It's Not What Mothers Do but the "Reasons" That They Do It: Maternal Reasons for Employment Decisions and Mothers' Well-Being.
O'Keeffe, Abigail Tuttle
This study examined: (1) What reasons do mothers of 6- and 15-month-old babies give for returning to work?; (2) Are there broad dimensions of reasons why mothers return to work?; (3) Do the reasons mothers report returning to work differ according to mothers' education, income, occupation, or number of hours at work?; (4) Are the reasons mothers report returning to work related to their psychological well-being?; and (5) Do reasons for returning to work and number of hours of employment interact to affect well-being? Examination of data from Phase I of the NICHD Study of Early Childcare indicated that: (1) most mothers report returning to work for financial and personal fulfillment reasons; (2) personal fulfillment, financial, and parenthood dimensions exist in the present data, and these dimensions correspond with the types of reasons for employment suggested by related historical, empirical, and descriptive literature; (3) dimensions of reasons for employment were not associated with subjects' individual differences or well-being; (4) hours of employment and dimensions of reasons for employment may interact to affect mothers' well-being--in particular, personal fulfillment reasons for employment were related to lesser well-being when mothers work fewer hours when babies are very young, but when babies are older, this relationship is reversed; and (5) measured reasons for employment may not have differentiated mothers according to their most salient reasons for returning to work, and future research using measurement strategies to address this may find more systematic relations with maternal well-being. (EV)
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Minneapolis, MN, April 19-22, 2001).