Award Date

5-1-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Committee Member

Murray Millar

Second Committee Member

Rachael Robnett

Third Committee Member

David Copeland

Fourth Committee Member

LeAnn Putney

Number of Pages

86

Abstract

Workplace and household inequality remain prevalent in the United States and sex role (e.g. breadwinner and caregiver) stereotypes affect the roles that individuals seek out. This research used a mixed-methods approach to investigate the effects of sex role stereotypes and expected work-family conflict on the work and family aspirations of emerging adults. A racially diverse sample wrote freely about their future selves for ten minutes then completed measures to evaluate their sex-role stereotype endorsement, expected work-family conflict, and personal preferences for career and family roles. Results indicate that endorsement of stereotypes predicts increased expectations of work-family conflict, for both men and women, possibly because sex-role stereotypes do not allow for a harmonious unification of both roles. Multiple mediator analyses revealed complex relationships, including findings that time-based and stress-based work-family conflict partially explain the link between stereotype endorsement and value of familial and occupational roles. The narratives produced by participants demonstrate how caregiver and breadwinner stereotypes are conceptualized by individuals and integrated into their descriptions of their future lives. The narratives suggest that women who reject sex role stereotypes may also reject traditional family compositions and may not feel that assuming traditional roles and behaving in nurturing, “feminine” ways are mutually exclusive.

Keywords

Career; Family; Mixed methods; Multiple mediation; Sex-role stereotypes; Work-family conflict

Disciplines

Psychology | Quantitative Psychology | Social Psychology

Language

English


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