The “Bad Parent” assumption: how gender stereotypes affect reactions to working mothers

Okimoto, Tyler G. and Heilman, Madeline E. (2012) The “Bad Parent” assumption: how gender stereotypes affect reactions to working mothers. Journal of Social Issues, 68 4: 704-724. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.2012.01772.x

Author Okimoto, Tyler G.
Heilman, Madeline E.
Title The “Bad Parent” assumption: how gender stereotypes affect reactions to working mothers
Journal name Journal of Social Issues   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-4537
Publication date 2012-12-13
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1540-4560.2012.01772.x
Volume 68
Issue 4
Start page 704
End page 724
Total pages 21
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Although balancing work and family commitments is a significant source of strain for working parents, working mothers in traditionally male positions face additional anxiety due to unfounded assumptions about their competence as employees, assumptions rooted in gender stereotypes. However, stereotype-based assumptions can also bias competence impressions of these working mothers in family domains, depicting them as bad parents. In four experimental studies, we documented evidence that working mothers are seen as less effective parents than nonworking mothers. Consistent with the argument that gender stereotypes underlie these findings, the bad parent assumption was apparent only for mothers and not fathers (Study 1), only when working in a male sex-typed occupation (Study 2), more intensely when job success was clear (Study 3), and only when working out of personal choice (Study 4). Similar patterns were observed in ratings of interpersonal appeal (e.g., likability, friend desirability, coworker desirability), relational judgments suggesting that there are also negative social consequences for working mothers.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
UQ Business School Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 14 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 17 Dec 2012, 06:47:24 EST by Dr. Tyler G. Okimoto on behalf of UQ Business School