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Disconnect between parenting and certain jobs a source of stress, study finds
Date:8/15/2014

ous occupations were plotted.

What Walker discovered is that the public is often skeptical about the abilities of parents whose occupations seemingly do not align with being a mother or a father.

"If a person is constantly met with skepticism, he or she can begin to feel stressed because that skepticism will take a toll over time," he says. "Those parents are always swimming upstream trying to convince people they are, for example, a legitimate parent or a legitimate attorney."

Among occupations that create more psychological baggage are: attorney, salesperson, laborer, receptionist, police officer, or politician. Those that align better, in terms of societal perception, with parenting include: teacher, physician, registered nurse, principal, and professor.

Study co-author Mary Noonan, an associate professor of sociology at UI, said the findings warrant a closer look by sociologists.

"I used to think the whole conflict was about time and energy and not so much this internal conflict about identity," she says. "These are pretty exciting results."

Walker says the study could help shape policy and workplace changes designed to reduce the psychological strain of juggling the roles of parent and worker.

"If employers are aware that working parents in a given occupation are more at risk of experiencing psychological strain, they could potentially provide more targeted mental health resources for those in 'at risk' occupations," he says.


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Contact: Daniel Fowler
pubinfo@asanet.org
202-527-7885
American Sociological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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