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|Title:||A Study of Role Overload, Nonmarket Time Use, and Coping Strategies of Middle Class, Employed Women in Intact Families|
|Author(s):||Rowan, Judith Bowie|
|Department / Program:||Education|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Abstract:||The study investigated role overload manifested in nonmarket time use and the coping strategies used to deal with the overload. Role overload among employed women was defined based on contributions from role theory and organizational behavior. Nine nonmarket areas were identified for assessment: food chores, clothes chores, money chores, home care/maintenance, child care, social and community, leisure/fun, family, and self. An instrument was developed, the Home Questionnaire, in which respondents indicated time spent in the nonmarket areas over four time periods: day-to-day, weekends, holidays, and vacations. In addition, the frequency of use of three coping styles found in Hall and Hall's (1979) Role-Coping Inventory was assessed: Type I coping, or structural role redefinition, Type II coping, or personal role redefinition, and Type III coping, or reactive role behavior.
The study was an extension of the author's earlier research and included data from interviews conducted previously. Subjects were married women, employed full-time, and living in intact families. The sample consisted of 10 upper middle class and 10 lower middle class women from the same Mid-western area who volunteered to participate.
Results from the Home Questionnaire indicated that subjects experienced role overload resulting from their multiple roles and attempted to balance their nonmarket time between the maintenance/support and relational/leisure aspects of family living. During the four time periods studied, subjects reported spending the most time in family activities, child care, and leisure/fun activities. To cope with role overload, upper middle class subjects reported using Type I coping strategies significantly more frequently than did their lower middle class counterparts. Successful coping appeared related to strategies used, income level, husbands' attitudes, and life stage.
The study was exploratory in nature. Its major contribution lay in the development of the Home Questionnaire. Findings were discussed in light of the major limitations of small sample size, lack of random selection, and relative homogeneity of subjects. Comparison of Home Questionnaire, Role-Coping Inventory, and interview data provided some support for construct validity of the measures. Recommendations were made for future research, including suggestions for refinement of the Home Questionnaire.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2014-12-15|