Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Krista Lynn Minnotte


One major social change that has transpired in the United States over recent decades is the increasing movement of women into the paid labor force. The changes surrounding work and family life have made finding balance between these two domains difficult for women. These difficulties become more problematic because of a stalled revolution, as many workplaces do not accommodate family needs and women remain primarily responsible for household labor. Qualitative research on the supposed "opt out revolution" has shown that one main reason why some women are leaving the workplace is because they do not have a work environment that is supportive in terms of integrating work and family life. This is especially believed to be true in professional work environments in which employees are expected to dedicate the majority of their time to their careers. Few studies have concentrated on professional women and how the work-family interface is associated with such women's loyalty to their employers. Specifically, this research examines how work-to-family conflict, coworker support, supervisor support, and supportive workplace culture are associated with professional mothers' loyalty to their employers.

The data to be used in this research are from the 2002 National Study of the Changing Workforce (NSCW). The NSCW is a nationally representative cross section of employed adults in the United States. The sample used in this study (N = 160) consists of women whose occupational status is classified as professional who have at least one child under the age of 18 living at home.

Results indicate that supervisor support was positively related to professional mothers' loyalty to their employers. However, findings suggest that work-to-family conflict, coworker support, and supportive workplace culture were not associated with professional mothers' loyalty to their employers.