TitleCentrality of women's multiple roles: beneficial and detrimental consequences for psychological well-being.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsMartire, LM, Stephens, MA, Townsend, AL
JournalPsychol Aging
Date Published2000 Mar
KeywordsAdult, Age Factors, Caregivers, Depression, Depressive Disorder, Female, Health Status, Humans, Mental Health, Middle Aged, Mothers, Personal Satisfaction, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Role, Spouses, Stress, Psychological, Women, Women, Working

<p>Theorists have proposed that greater centrality (personal importance) of a social role is associated with better psychological well-being but that role centrality exacerbates the negative effects of stress in that same social role on well-being. The present study found evidence to support both hypotheses in a sample of 296 women who simultaneously occupied the roles of parent care provider, mother, wife, and employee. Greater centrality of all four roles was related to better psychological well-being. As predicted, wife centrality exacerbated the effects of wife stress on life satisfaction, and employee centrality exacerbated the effects of employee stress on depressive symptoms. Contrary to prediction, centrality of the mother role buffered women from the negative effects of mother stress on depressive symptoms. These findings point to an aspect of role identity that can benefit well-being but that has complex effects in the context of role stress.</p>

Alternate JournalPsychol Aging
PubMed ID10755296
Grant ListR01 AG 11906 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
T32 MH19986 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States