Date of Award

January 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Krista Lynn Minnotte


Women’s increasing participation in the workforce and the growing number of single mothers in the U.S. have prompted work-family scholars to explore the unique struggles these mothers face. Most research indicates that single mothers experience both more work-family conflict, and worse mental health compared to their partnered counterparts. Limited research, however, has considered how work-family conflict and work characteristics differentially relate to the psychological distress of partnered and single mothers. Using the Job Demands-Resources model, this research explored partnered and single mothers’ experiences of work-family conflict, work characteristics, and psychological distress using data from the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce (N = 664). Findings from the OLS regression indicated that among both partnered and single mothers, education and work-family conflict were significantly related to psychological distress. A significant relationship between job pressure and psychological distress was found only among partnered mothers. These findings and their implications were discussed.