This study looks closely at the relationship between women who are employed and women who make a living as homemakers and their levels of self-esteem. The data in this study was collected through General Social Survey which was taken from NORC, National Opinion Research Center, at the University of Chicago in 1996. There were a total of 1,619 women, 1,272 of which were caucasian, 270 who were African-American, and 77 women of other ethnic backgrounds. After careful selection of appropriate survey questions, the data was placed into the program SPSS where some variables were recoded and run using the chi square test. The dependent variable, self-esteem, was compiled of particular measurements such as, feelings of control over their life, belief that most of the bad things that happen to them are due to bad luck not something they did, belief that the good things in their life are due to good luck, and that they have no particular plan in life. The results showed employed women to have higher levels of selfesteem than homemakers except when these women had three or more children. Both homemakers and paid women reported high levels of selfesteem when the family income was $30,000 or greater. Social activity also raised women's self-esteem, but more so for employed women than homemakers. The results showed that homemaker's self-esteem was lowered if their mother worked outside the home, this variable did not effect employed women's self-esteem. Employed women experienced higher levels of self-esteem if they felt successful in their family life.


Fitz-Gibbon, Heather


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

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© Copyright 1999 Kate Messer