LIFEPRINTS: New Patterns of Love and Work for Today's Women by Grace; Rosalind Barnett & Caryl Rivers Baruch

LIFEPRINTS: New Patterns of Love and Work for Today's Women

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In Beyond Sugar and Spice (1979), the authors--two psychologists and a journalist--provided a handy synthesis of research on female sex-role development; this time, inauspiciously, they've conducted a survey (of 300 or so Boston-area Caucasian women, 35-55)--to measure the effects of marriage, motherhood, divorce, mother/daughter relationships, the single life, and work on women's sense of well-being. (The trio's objection to defining women in terms of relationships, rather than accomplishments, isn't reflected in their questionnaire.) That sense of well-being is divided, further, into ""Mastery"" and ""Pleasure."" The highest overall scorers were--surprise!--those who seemed to have it all: marriage, children, high-prestige career. (No, they don't feel overloaded: ""What might be called the 'recharge your batteries' model of energy is probably operating rather than the 'limited' model."") Divorced women scored very high on mastery; supposedly, coming through the fires gives women greater self-esteem. Pleasure dips dramatically for the nonmarried. And ""whether a woman did or did not have children had no significant impact on her well-being."" The most woebegone group, of course, were the marrieds at home without children: no sense of mastery from a career, a sense of pleasure wholly dependent on one's husband. Conventional interpretations of predictable responses.

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 1982
Publisher: McGraw-Hill