Family Dynamics And Role Strain In Hispanic And Non-Hispanic Married, Employed Women With Preschool Children (cuban-American)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology


The primary purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between the role strain experienced by married, employed women with preschool children and two dimensions of family dynamics: cohesion and adaptability. These two dimensions were defined according to the Circumplex Model of family systems. A secondary aim was to examine the relationship between couple satisfaction with the family dimensions and the role strain experienced by these women.Thirty-three white, Hispanic women and fifity-two white, non-Hispanic women and their spouses participated in the study. All of the women were married, employed a minimum of 30 hours per week and 9 months annually, and had at least one child between the ages of two and five years that attended private preschool in Dade County, Florida. The Hispanic women and their husbands were all Cuban-Americans who had been born in Cuba and had immigrated to the United States. Role strain for the women was assessed by the Job-Family Role Strain Scale. The family dimensions, as perceived by the couple unit were assessed by the Cohesion and Adaptability subscales of the FACES II. A simple regression was used to assess the contribution of the family variables as combined on the circumplex. Multiple regression was used for all other analyses.None of the family variables, as measured by couple distance scores contributed significantly to role strain. However, when the curvilinear assumption of the Circumplex Model was eliminated, a statistically significant linear relationship was found between a combination of the family dimensions and role strain for Hispanic women. Cohesion emerged as the most significant predictor, with role strain decreasing as cohesion increased. In the secondary analysis role strain for Hispanic women was found to be significantly related to a combination of couple satisfaction with cohesion and couple satisfaction with adaptability, with satisfaction with cohesion making the more important contribution. It appears that for Hispanic women role strain decreases as couple satisfaction with cohesion increases. No significant relationships were found in any of the analyses for non-Hispanic women.Possible explanations for these findings, implications, and research recommendations were discussed.


Psychology, General

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