Cranney, Stephen and Andrew Miles. Forth.“Desperate Housewives? Difference in Work Satisfaction between Stay-at-Home and Employed Mothers, 1972-2012.” Journal of Family IssuesStay-at-home and employed mothers have been the subject of a wide range of both academic and popular discourse about roles, satisfaction, and meaning. However, no literature has examined time trends in relative satisfaction with being a stay-at-home versus a working mother. Here we use pooled, yearly data from the General Social Survey to examine trends in how satisfied stay-at-home mothers are with their work relative to employed mothers. We find that stay-at-home mothers used to report less satisfaction with their work than employed mothers, but this gap became statistically non-significant around the same time trends in societal attitudes towards gender roles began to shift. These changes are widespread across different socioeconomic and ideological groups, and do not appear to be attributable to socio-demographic composition changes.

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