B R Y N   M A W R


Cosponsored by the College, the Alumnae Association, and the Center for Science in Society

The Issue: Balancing Work and Family in the New Millenium

Balancing work and family responsibilities is a challenge faced by many working parents today. Recent U.S. census data indicate that parents who work outside the home are the majority among those with school age children, and numerous research studies have documented that working parents face a daily juggling act between their work and family lives. What's more, in this new millenium of cell phones, pagers, and emails, the boundaries between work lives and home lives have become increasingly blurred, leaving many parents to wonder about how to organize and prioritize their multiple role commitments.

The researchers behind the BRYN MAWR WORK AND FAMILY PROJECT hope to learn more about the daily challenges faced by parents who are balancing simultaneously work and family role responsibilities. The data collected through this study are intended to contribute to knowledge in the field of psychology regarding the day-to-day experiences of working parents.


In 1980, current Bryn Mawr students were surveyed on a range of issues including future work and family plans. The majority of students who completed the survey reported that they hoped to have both a family and a full-time job, and many foresaw a challenge ahead in trying to balance these important life activities. When the results of this survey were summarized in the Alumnae Bulletin in the Spring of 1981, the editor commented, "It will be interesting to see - in an Alumnae Bulletin printed in the year 2000 - how they worked things out."

Although the chance to report in the 2000 Bulletin has passed, Alexis Bennett, a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology, and Marc Schulz, a professor in Psychology, have been planning the BRYN MAWR WORK AND FAMILY STUDY to find out how things have worked out for Bryn Mawr graduates. The study is part of Ms. Bennett's doctoral dissertation, which focuses on how working parents manage the multiple responsibilities involved in working outside the home and raising a family. The study is being organized in conjunction with Bryn Mawr's Center for Science in Society as part of its Women in Culture project, and coordinated with the intial phases of a study on Women, Education, and Science.

Periodic reports on this project as it procedes will appear here. You are also invited to contribute to the project by leaving your thoughts and ideas in an ON-LINE FORUM and/or by sending email to Marc Schulz and/or Alexis Bennett.

A Summary of Project Findings has been made available October, 2005.

Relevant reading material

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Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-May-2018 10:51:19 CDT