Psychological well-being of working women: a cross-cultural perspective.
Curr Womens Health Rep 2002 Jun; 2(3):214-218
Although the literature on the relationship between work and the family has grown substantially over the past 20 years, it is based primarily on studies conducted with white, middle-class workers. Thus, it is questionable whether findings can be generalized to nonwhite populations. This paper addresses the situation by utilizing a diverse sample. Semi-structured interviews about work, family, and work-family interactions were tape-recorded with eight minority and 13 white school counselors from a large southwestern city. Qualitative analysis of the tapes revealed reports by both white and minority workers of bi-directional influences between the work and family domains, as well as work-derived psychologic, cognitive, and social benefits. However, there were distinct differences between minority and white workers in their reports of workplace and family experiences, and in coping strategies. The most distinct findings were a difference between the two groups in their perceptions of work as a "choice" (white workers) versus an "obligation" (minority workers), and a dichotomous model of work-family interactions among minority workers in which they compartmentalized their work and family lives. These results have implications for workplace policies and procedures, and point to the necessity of including the perspectives of minority subjects in future work-family research.
Women; Racial-factors; Psychological-stress; Psychological-effects; Workplace-studies
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Work Environment and Workforce: Special Populations
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