This study extends research on the good mother stereotype by examining students’ perceptions of other students who return to school after having a child. Undergraduate students attending either community college or a 4-year southeastern university within the United States were asked to review a vignette in which a mother’s decision to return to college and her role satisfaction were manipulated. The 205 participants rated the woman who elects to continue her education shortly after the birth of a child as significantly less feminine, more dominant, more arrogant-calculating and cold-hearted, and less warm-agreeable than the mother who discontinued her education. The impact of these results is discussed in the context of Tinto’s (Review of Educational Research 45, 89–127, 1975) classic theory of student retention and Eagly and Steffen’s (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 46, 735–754, 1984) theory of gender stereotypes.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 9, 2008
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