The impact of perceived familial relationship quality and work attitudes on women's career outcomes.
AuthorBass, Brenda Lyn.
Committee ChairWilhelm, Mari S.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBecause of their family roles, in particular the roles of wife and mother, the occupational role has often been viewed as secondary for women. However, it is predicted that by the year 2000 women will comprise nearly half of the United States labor force (Kutscher, 1987). Given that women have become such a large and pivotal portion of the labor force, it is important to investigate their career outcomes and what influences them. In the past, family research has primarily focused on how women's employment impacts the family, and not vice versa. Also, the majority of this research has been problem oriented, with the focus on negative outcomes. Therefore, to start addressing the gaps left in the literature, this study investigated how the family can positively impact women's perceived career success. Using a symbolic interactionist framework, a model was developed and tested in order to investigate how the quality of familial relationships and certain elements of the family of origin impact women's current work attitudes and subjective career success. One hundred and sixty-nine female administrators and faculty at a large, southwestern university responded to a survey for this study. Partial support was found for the proposed model. Family life quality positively and directly influenced subjective career success. Maternal employment status during the woman's childhood and adolescence interacted with the woman's current work attitudes to positively influence perceived career success. Women with higher levels of work attitudes reported higher levels of perceived career success if their mothers had not been employed. Conversely, women reporting lower levels of work attitudes had higher levels of subjective career success if their mothers had been consistently employed. This study provided an initial step in discovering what makes a supportive family environment for employed women. Future research should investigate the social support content and processes which occur through daily interactions within the family and what the impact is upon women's career outcomes.
Degree ProgramFamily and Consumer Resources