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Conquering Discarded Homemaker Despair

Conquering Discarded Homemaker Despair In initial interviews with candidates for the Master of Science in Counseling Psychology Program over a period of seven years (1968-1975), a group of women voluntarily identified themselves as, "discarded homemakers." Specific wording varied, but the consistent self-description focused upon low self-esteem; for example, such comments were made as, "I'm a homemaker and have no marketable skills," or "I'm worthless: My husband married someone young, and my children want to be independent of my parenting." In describing their current status they were divorced or separated and living on the edge of emotional, social, and economic poverty. Physiologically there were many excesses or deficits in weight, for example, many of the women were chemically dependent upon tranquilizers, nicotine, caffeine, etc. These women were followed from the time of graduation until the present (May, 1981). They were rated by a structured interview that included employment, recreational activities, competencies, and self-esteem statements. From 1968 until 1975, two groups of women graduates were identified and their careers followed from data of graduation until present. One group of women were those qualified to be in the discarded homemaker group (8 of the 10 were also single parents). The comparison group was composed of married women with gainfully employed husbands, 7 of whom were parents. Presently, each woman is successfully employed in counseling, college teaching, administration or psychotherapy. Both groups showed improvement in the cognitive, behavioral and physiological measures employed; however, the most impressive finding had to do with the positive change in the discarded homemakres, who at the time of graduation and from 2-11 years later viewed themselves as competent, worthwhile people doing productive and desirable work for salaries ranging from $23,000-$54,000. Self-esteem and competencies increased significantly in the discarded homemakers group. The changes in the married women group are positive also, but they had much higher positive baselines in the initial interviews. It is surmised that the discarded homemakers moved from a low density of positive reinforcement to a much higher one by enrolling for psychology classes, getting feedback from professors and other students concerning improved self-worth, and by developing competencies and skills, In addition, a much higher proportion of discarded homemakers completed the Master of Science in Counseling Psychology Program than did married women. The high success rate of the discarded homemakers is discussed in relationship to motivation, changes in self-esteem and reduction of learned helplessness. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Women & Therapy Taylor & Francis

Conquering Discarded Homemaker Despair

Women & Therapy , Volume 2 (4): 8 – Dec 26, 1983

Conquering Discarded Homemaker Despair

Women & Therapy , Volume 2 (4): 8 – Dec 26, 1983

Abstract

In initial interviews with candidates for the Master of Science in Counseling Psychology Program over a period of seven years (1968-1975), a group of women voluntarily identified themselves as, "discarded homemakers." Specific wording varied, but the consistent self-description focused upon low self-esteem; for example, such comments were made as, "I'm a homemaker and have no marketable skills," or "I'm worthless: My husband married someone young, and my children want to be independent of my parenting." In describing their current status they were divorced or separated and living on the edge of emotional, social, and economic poverty. Physiologically there were many excesses or deficits in weight, for example, many of the women were chemically dependent upon tranquilizers, nicotine, caffeine, etc. These women were followed from the time of graduation until the present (May, 1981). They were rated by a structured interview that included employment, recreational activities, competencies, and self-esteem statements. From 1968 until 1975, two groups of women graduates were identified and their careers followed from data of graduation until present. One group of women were those qualified to be in the discarded homemaker group (8 of the 10 were also single parents). The comparison group was composed of married women with gainfully employed husbands, 7 of whom were parents. Presently, each woman is successfully employed in counseling, college teaching, administration or psychotherapy. Both groups showed improvement in the cognitive, behavioral and physiological measures employed; however, the most impressive finding had to do with the positive change in the discarded homemakres, who at the time of graduation and from 2-11 years later viewed themselves as competent, worthwhile people doing productive and desirable work for salaries ranging from $23,000-$54,000. Self-esteem and competencies increased significantly in the discarded homemakers group. The changes in the married women group are positive also, but they had much higher positive baselines in the initial interviews. It is surmised that the discarded homemakers moved from a low density of positive reinforcement to a much higher one by enrolling for psychology classes, getting feedback from professors and other students concerning improved self-worth, and by developing competencies and skills, In addition, a much higher proportion of discarded homemakers completed the Master of Science in Counseling Psychology Program than did married women. The high success rate of the discarded homemakers is discussed in relationship to motivation, changes in self-esteem and reduction of learned helplessness.

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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1541-0315
eISSN
0270-3149
DOI
10.1300/J015v02n04_07
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In initial interviews with candidates for the Master of Science in Counseling Psychology Program over a period of seven years (1968-1975), a group of women voluntarily identified themselves as, "discarded homemakers." Specific wording varied, but the consistent self-description focused upon low self-esteem; for example, such comments were made as, "I'm a homemaker and have no marketable skills," or "I'm worthless: My husband married someone young, and my children want to be independent of my parenting." In describing their current status they were divorced or separated and living on the edge of emotional, social, and economic poverty. Physiologically there were many excesses or deficits in weight, for example, many of the women were chemically dependent upon tranquilizers, nicotine, caffeine, etc. These women were followed from the time of graduation until the present (May, 1981). They were rated by a structured interview that included employment, recreational activities, competencies, and self-esteem statements. From 1968 until 1975, two groups of women graduates were identified and their careers followed from data of graduation until present. One group of women were those qualified to be in the discarded homemaker group (8 of the 10 were also single parents). The comparison group was composed of married women with gainfully employed husbands, 7 of whom were parents. Presently, each woman is successfully employed in counseling, college teaching, administration or psychotherapy. Both groups showed improvement in the cognitive, behavioral and physiological measures employed; however, the most impressive finding had to do with the positive change in the discarded homemakres, who at the time of graduation and from 2-11 years later viewed themselves as competent, worthwhile people doing productive and desirable work for salaries ranging from $23,000-$54,000. Self-esteem and competencies increased significantly in the discarded homemakers group. The changes in the married women group are positive also, but they had much higher positive baselines in the initial interviews. It is surmised that the discarded homemakers moved from a low density of positive reinforcement to a much higher one by enrolling for psychology classes, getting feedback from professors and other students concerning improved self-worth, and by developing competencies and skills, In addition, a much higher proportion of discarded homemakers completed the Master of Science in Counseling Psychology Program than did married women. The high success rate of the discarded homemakers is discussed in relationship to motivation, changes in self-esteem and reduction of learned helplessness.

Journal

Women & TherapyTaylor & Francis

Published: Dec 26, 1983

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