Multiple Roles, Social Networks, and Women's Well-Being

Barton J. Hirsch, Bruce D. Rapkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


In contrast to earlier approaches to the study of multiple roles, our research was concerned with the frequency and conditions under which both positive and negative outcomes occur. Using data from a random sample of 235 married female nurses, we focused on marital and job satisfaction as important criteria of success in managing multiple roles. In the first phase of the research, a cluster analysis identified five different profiles of marital and job satisfaction. Of the two most positive profiles, one was defined by high scores in both areas, the other by high job satisfaction but only moderate marital satisfaction. In two other profiles, women were very dissatisfied with one role and at best moderately satisfied with the other. In the second phase, the profiles were found to be meaningfully associated with measures of psychological symptomatology and overall life satisfaction. The third phase considered how the profiles were linked to measures of social support and social rejection provided by five key network members. The strongest univariate profile discriminator was the level of work rejection from the spouse. A discriminant function analysis revealed that the level of spouse's work rejection was even more powerful when it was compared to the level of work rejection received from the next closest family member (typically the mother).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1237-1247
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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