Women and Mental Health

By Elizabeth Howell; Marjorie Bayes | Go to book overview

26
Attitudes Toward Parenting
in Dual-Career Families

COLLEEN LEAHY JOHNSON

FRANK ARVID JOHNSON

As the women's liberation movement has expanded opportunities for qualified women, increasing numbers of middle-class women with children have been turning to careers, in contrast to jobs, for personal satisfaction and self-enrichment rather than simply for supplemental income. This situation has created an interesting variant in the conjugal family, namely, the dual-career family. The purpose of this paper is to review current research on this family type and to present findings from a pilot study of young dual-career families in an upstate New York college community.

We are primarily concerned with the patterns of adaptation used by families in which both the husband and wife engage in careers involving a high degree of emotional commitment and time involvement while they are rearing young children. In a recent paper (Johnson and Johnson 1976) the authors suggested that career women are less able than men to resolve role strain stemming from the two-career situation because of specific gender-linked social-psychological and psychodynamic factors. There are also innumerable practical difficulties

____________________
The authors wish to thank the graduate students in the Department of Child and Family Studies, Syracuse University, for their invaluable assistance in conducting this research.

-347-

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