Event Title

Guilt and Anxiety Among Working Moms: The Role Of Gendered Beliefs

Presenter Information

Krystal Zielen

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

College

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Major

Psychology

Start Date

5-21-2015 6:00 PM

End Date

5-21-2015 6:30 PM

Abstract

Traditional gender roles socialized to women about the importance of motherhood and homemaker, and to men about the importance of protecting and providing still hold a firm grasp on internal beliefs about others and the self. The presence of these stereotypes in both work and family settings result in gender-based inequalities related to the glass ceiling, unequal pay, and negative attention when discrepancies occur within roles. Indeed, role inconsistent behavior produces conflict in individuals, often eliciting overt forms of sexism and microaggressions. These role-based challenges are relevant for working women rearing children. Working mothers are faced with regular inter-role conflict as work based behaviors are often inconsistent with their mother role. While such conflict may result in negative mental health outcomes such as guilt and anxiety, the severity of such outcomes may vary as a function of modern and traditional gender beliefs. The negativity of violating that role as mother is contingent upon the woman’s traditional vs. modern gender belief standpoint. We attempt to understand how gender role beliefs relate to the experience of guilt and anxiety for working mothers compared to working non-mothers. We propose that gender role beliefs (traditional vs. modern) will be a moderating factor. Specifically, working non-mothers will experience equivalent, low levels of guilt and anxiety regardless of gender role beliefs. Higher levels will be reported, however, among working mothers (compared with working non-mothers) who have traditional gender beliefs. Further, differences that emerge will be exacerbated in work settings with high levels of sexism and microaggressions.

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May 21st, 6:00 PM May 21st, 6:30 PM

Guilt and Anxiety Among Working Moms: The Role Of Gendered Beliefs

Traditional gender roles socialized to women about the importance of motherhood and homemaker, and to men about the importance of protecting and providing still hold a firm grasp on internal beliefs about others and the self. The presence of these stereotypes in both work and family settings result in gender-based inequalities related to the glass ceiling, unequal pay, and negative attention when discrepancies occur within roles. Indeed, role inconsistent behavior produces conflict in individuals, often eliciting overt forms of sexism and microaggressions. These role-based challenges are relevant for working women rearing children. Working mothers are faced with regular inter-role conflict as work based behaviors are often inconsistent with their mother role. While such conflict may result in negative mental health outcomes such as guilt and anxiety, the severity of such outcomes may vary as a function of modern and traditional gender beliefs. The negativity of violating that role as mother is contingent upon the woman’s traditional vs. modern gender belief standpoint. We attempt to understand how gender role beliefs relate to the experience of guilt and anxiety for working mothers compared to working non-mothers. We propose that gender role beliefs (traditional vs. modern) will be a moderating factor. Specifically, working non-mothers will experience equivalent, low levels of guilt and anxiety regardless of gender role beliefs. Higher levels will be reported, however, among working mothers (compared with working non-mothers) who have traditional gender beliefs. Further, differences that emerge will be exacerbated in work settings with high levels of sexism and microaggressions.