Working mothers and their perceived work-­life balance

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Levy, I. (2012) Working mothers and their perceived work-­‐ life balance. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Master scriptie Sociologie: Arbeid, Organisatie en Management. (EN)



Many studies have focused on working women’s strains when it comes to the balance between paid work and family responsibilities. Yet few studies analyze women’s subjective sense of success in balancing these two separate spheres in terms of full-time and part-time employment. In this thesis, I will explore the ways in which full-time and part-time work affects women and their perceived work-life balance. First, with the help of data from the Dutch database of the WageIndicator I will examine the influence of child-care support, educational attainment, age of youngest child, number of hours worked, conflict at work, and high workload on the perceived work-life balance of working women. Second, I examine how influential these variables are by separating them into two different domains: life and work and carried out a statistical analysis using SPSS. Furthermore I will outline six hypotheses regarding the influence of the aforementioned variables divided in the life and work domain. I demonstrate that work-domain variables affect the perceived work-life balance more than life-domain variables. Regarding role conflict I demonstrate that for women employed full-time young children in the household has a significant negative impact on success in balancing paid work and family life. In the conclusion I reflect on the implications of these findings for the traditional values of “good mothering” and an evaluation is presented with ideas for further research including better methods for conceptualisation and operationalisation.