Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Career participation or termination : perceptions and attitudes of women in dual-career families

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  • Statistics indicate that the number of dual-career couples, and thus dual-career women, has continued to increase (Holahan & Gilbert, 1979a; Jump, 1986; Maples, 1981; Sekaran, 1983). Very little is known, however, about how these women make their career-related decisions (Morgan & Hock, 1984). The major purpose of the present study was to discover how perceived career salience, perceived salience of the maternal and marital roles, perceived spousal support, and gender-role attitudes discriminated between career participation and termination among women in dual-career families. In addition, this study also investigated the discriminating power of childcare satisfaction, employer concern, respondent's income, and spouse's income. The sample for this study consisted of 74 women who were, or had been, participating in a career. Forty-one of these women were classified as career participators, and 33 women were classified as career terminators. Data for the present study were collected through a questionnaire format, and were ultimately analyzed through the use of discriminant function analysis. The results of the discriminant analysis revealed that childcare satisfaction, spouse's income, the occupational role commitment component of perceived career salience, the family component of gender-role attitudes, and the marital role commitment component of perceived marital role salience, discriminated between career participation and termination for the group of women in this study. Discriminant analysis further revealed that these variables contributed to career participation and termination in the order in which they are listed above. The findings of the present study were interpreted on the basis of a symbolic interaction framework.
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