Title

Economic Need and Wives' Employment

Keywords

work, maternal employment, family

Abstract

This article argues that the meaning of the economic motive for White married mothers' labor force participation has changed over the past 30 years. The growth in White married mothers' labor force participation has come from mothers whose husbands earn a relatively “adequate” income rather than from mothers whose husbands earn “inadequate” incomes. For most White married mothers, the decision to work outside the home is best characterized as a personal choice to seek an ideal life-style combining family and employment rather than economic necessity. Broad structural forces will continue to influence couples' decisions about maternal employment, but these forces may weaken as they are increasingly mediated by personal value systems about how we should live our lives rather than real economic exigency.

Original Publication Citation

Eggebeen, D. J., & Hawkins, A. J. (1990). Economic need and wives' employment. Journal of Family Issues, 11, 48-66.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

1990-03-01

Publisher

Journal of Family Issues

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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