First Advisor

Kathryn A. Farr

Term of Graduation

Summer 1993

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Sociology






Child care, Working mothers, Work and family, Role conflict



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, v, 68 pages)


Working mothers may encounter difficulty combining work and family, particularly as this interface involves child care arrangements.

This research investigated the effects of various dimensions of child care support on stress and role conflict in employed mothers. It was hypothesized that as job support, affordability, spousal support, and satisfaction with child care increased, that child care stress, job stress, and role conflict would decrease.

The data were derived from a survey (Lane County Dependent Care survey, Emlen, 1990) of women employed in 15 companies in the Lane County, Oregon area. The study sample consisted of 825 full and part-time employed mothers with children under the age of eighteen living in the home.

This research analyzed the women's responses to questions pertaining to each of the four dimensions of child care support (four questions), and two questions on stress (one on child care stress and one on job stress) and one on role conflict. The questions were formatted into Likert-type scales, ranging from three to six points. Crosstabulations were calculated to examine eight hypotheses, four with stress as the dependent variable and four with role conflict as the dependent variable. Hypotheses with job support as the independent variable were supported with moderate positive correlations. Hypotheses involving spousal support were tested using only married women. The independent variable showed no statistically significant correlations with either stress or role conflict. Hypotheses involving affordability were supported by moderate positive correlations between low levels of affordability, and child care stress and role conflict. The last hypotheses used dissatisfaction with child care arrangements as the independent variable. These were supported by moderate correlations regarding child care stress and weak correlations regarding role conflict.

Further directions in the examination of relationships between help with child care and the reduction of stress and role conflict for women are suggested.


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