The importance of work: Changing work commitment following the transition to motherhood
2013 (English)In: Acta Sociologica, ISSN 0001-6993, E-ISSN 1502-3869, Vol. 56, no 2, 139-153 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We use the longitudinal Young Adult Panel Study to examine changes in subjective work commitment among new mothers in Sweden. With a sample of childless women in 1999, we study changes in work commitment occurring between 1999 and 2003, comparing those who had a child during this period with those who did not. In the 1999 sample, there is no difference between the two groups in terms of work commitment. However, in 2003, women who gave birth during this period are less work committed than other women. Although the changes in women's work commitment on average are small, our findings indicate that the transition to motherhood - with all of the changes it brings - may lead to a redistribution of priorities and slightly lower work commitment among new mothers compared with non-mothers. Additional analyses indicate that the negative relationship between becoming a mother and work commitment is restricted to the first few years of a child's life. When women have children older than four years of age, they are not less work committed than non-mothers. We interpret this lower work commitment as a way of temporarily adjusting to the difficulties of combining work and family during the early pre-school years.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 56, no 2, 139-153 p.
child birth, Sweden, transition to motherhood, work commitment, work importance
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-92030DOI: 10.1177/0001699312466177ISI: 000319159400004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-92030DiVA: diva2:637299