University Study Finds Support for Working Mothers Is at an All-Time High

A new study by researchers at San Diego State University has found that support for working mothers is at an all-time high in the United States. The authors analyzed data from nearly 600,000 respondents to two national surveys in both 1976 and 2013. One survey was conducted among seniors in high school and the other with adults.

In the 1970 survey, 59 percent of high school seniors said a child would suffer if their mother worked outside the home. By 2013, the percentage who believed a child would suffer if their mother worked outside the home dropped to 22 percent.

For adults in 1977, 66 percent believed that “a preschool child is likely to suffer if his or her mother works.” By 2012, only 35 percent agreed with this statement.

twengJean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University and a co-author of the study, said that “this goes against the popular belief that millennials want to ‘turn back the clock’, or that they are less supportive of working moms because their own mothers worked. Instead they are more supportive.”

Dr. Twenge is the author of  Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable Than Ever Before (Atria Books, 2014). She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan.

The article, “Attitudes Toward Women’s Work and Family Roles in the United States, 1976–2013,” was published on the website of the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly. It may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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