Readable and challenging, this four-year study of three hundred middle-class and working-class couples debunks the myth of the overwrought working mother with her insensitive husband and neglected children. Drawing on extensive cross-disciplinary research, Rosalind Barnett and Caryl Rivers argue that “collaborative couples,” busy as they are, thrive in their diverse roles, and inspire competence and confidence in their children.
A wonderful antidote to all the books peddling guilt to the two-worker family. It’s good common sense for the 1990s—bound to make you feel better.
Rivers and Barnett’s four-year study gives an upbeat picture of the advantages for families of women working. Despite the more complicated logistics, they find that mothers with careers are happier, with more cheerful and competent children, and fathers more engaged in family life.
Armed with data from their own research, the Adult Lives Project, a well-sampled, longitudinal study of 300 dual-earner couples in two communities in Massachusetts…and many other significant studies, Barnett and Rivers dispel many popularized assumptions about the difficulties faced by employed wives and mothers. For example, a wide-spread assumption exists that employment is bad for women’s physical health and mental heath… Barnett and Rivers point out that, in fact…employed women are not showing increasing heart symptoms,…have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels…[and, among married women] show better mental health than those who are not employed. This book [is] persuasive, as well as a delightful read. I want to buy a dozen copies to share with [my colleagues] who have worried with me about whether they will be able to have both a career and a family life. If Barnett and Rivers are right, they will.
[She Works/He Works] identifies the stressful as well as the rewarding aspects of the lives of full-time-employed two-earner couples, based on a study conducted in two communities in the greater Boston area. [It] contends that members of the new two-working-parent American family are thriving—often living happier, healthier, and more well-rounded lives than members of the family of the 1950s.
- 272 pages
- 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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