Maternal Influence on Daughters' Family Gender Role Attitudes

Jessica Jakubowski, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Using mother-daughter pairs from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, I estimate mothers’ influence on their young adult daughters’ egalitarian vs. more traditional gender role attitudes. Following up Moen, Erickson, and Dempster-McClain (1997), I employ structural equation analysis to test the verbal socialization hypothesis that mothers’ attitudes regarding family gender roles directly and positively influence daughters’ gender role attitudes. I also test the hypotheses that maternal employment while daughters are young will lead to more egalitarian than traditional gender role attitudes of daughters, and maternal employment during the early years of a daughter’s childhood will have more influence on daughter’s attitudes than maternal employment later in adolescence. I find support for the verbal socialization hypothesis, but I do night find evidence of direct behavior socialization of gender role attitudes through mother’s employment or dynamic differences in behavior socialization. I suggest further exploration into causal models for exogenous variables.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Education, Gender, Religion, Language and Culture