Date of Award


Access Restriction

Campus Access only Theses

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Counseling Psychology

School or College

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts


This study investigates students' attitudes toward the working roles of today's mothers. Ninety-two undergraduate females enrolled in an introductory psychology class read one of six scenarios about a married mother. The mother's household income was described as being either $20,000 or $100,000; and she worked either part-time, full time, or not at all. Subjects rated the mother and her child on a total of 25 descriptive adjectives. Additionally, subjects were asked about their mother's work history and were consequently put into two groups, based on how much time their mother spent working when they were young. The results of this 2 x 3 x 2 design indicated that homemakers and their children were viewed more positively than working mothers and their children. In addition, wealthy mothers were considered more stable, secure, and relaxed than poor mothers. The data support the existence of a traditional stereotype that the best mothers are homemakers.