Pregnant women's self-efficacy for integrating multiple roles

Amy Ilene Tal, Fordham University


The increasingly common interface of work and family that women face poses practical and moral dilemmas for women who choose or are financially compelled to combine these roles. The developmental phase when these issues most typically become salient is during first pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to ascertain which intraindividual and contextual variables predict a pregnant woman's self-efficacy for integrating the multiple roles in which she is currently engaged with her anticipatory maternal role. In consideration of the emphasis on a woman's confidence, this study utilized the choice segment of Lent, Brown, and Hackett's (1994) social cognitive career theory, which proposes that person, contextual, and experiential factors influence self-efficacy beliefs and outcome expectations, which in turn affect choice behavior and ultimately performance attainment. The ability to plan for the integration of multiple roles and the salience of the worker role were identified as personal input variables. Exposure to role models and the support a woman receives from her significant other, the organization she works for, and other important people in her life were contextual variables that were expected to influence her perceived self-efficacy. The primary hypothesis was that these variables would contribute a significant amount of variance to multiple role self-efficacy. Participants were 115 women who were in their first pregnancy, employed, partnered, and planned on returning to work. Correlations indicated that self-efficacy for integrating multiple roles was related to partner support, other support, work culture, and exposure to role models, but not planning and work role saliency. Partner and other support were strongly associated with self-efficacy for individual roles---partner, self, worker, and parent. Regression models indicated that planning, work role saliency, support (all forms), and exposure to role models accounted for 27% of the variance in the criterion. Recommendations for counseling interventions and changes to external barriers were made.

Subject Area

Psychotherapy|Womens studies

Recommended Citation

Tal, Amy Ilene, "Pregnant women's self-efficacy for integrating multiple roles" (2006). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3208583.