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Implications of intensive mothering beliefs for the well-being of full-time employed mothers of infants: moderating effects of childcare satisfaction and workplace flexibility

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jill K. Walls (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Heather Helms

Abstract: Hays (1996) was the first to describe the construct of intensive mothering beliefs, yet little empirical research exists to substantiate its prevalence among contemporary mothers and its implications for their lives. The purpose of this study was to examine the construct of intensive mothering beliefs and its longitudinal associations with maternal well-being for 210 full-time employed mothers of infants. Employment-specific guilt was examined as one explanatory mechanism through which intensive mothering beliefs impact maternal well-being. Contextual factors such as mothers' childcare satisfaction and workplace flexibility were examined as moderators of the link between intensive mothering beliefs and employment-specific guilt.Results of exploratory factor analyses suggested that the measure developed for this study reflected four domains of intensive mothering beliefs ("nonemployed ideal", "take responsibility", "self-sacrificing", and "protecting the child"). Results of structural equation modeling suggested that intensive mothering beliefs at 4 months were not predictive of maternal well-being at 16 months, and that employment-specific guilt did not mediate this association. However, intensive mothering beliefs at 4 months were associated positively with employment-specific guilt at 16 months. No moderation effects were observed for childcare satisfaction, however two indicators of workplace flexibility (perceived schedule control and flexible policies) moderated the associations between some domains of intensive mothering beliefs and employment-specific guilt.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2010
Keywords
Beliefs, Maternal employment, Mothering, Well-being
Subjects
Working mothers $x Psychology.
Working mothers $x Attitudes.
Work and family $x United States.
Child care services $x Quality.
Flextime $z United States.