A sociology graduate student has found that women who try to maintain a perfect balance between their personal and professional lives are more likely to be depressed than moms who let some things go.
Katrina Leupp, a sociology graduate student at the University of Washington, led the study. The paper, titled Even Supermoms Get the Blues: Employment, Gender Attitudes and Depression, was presented at a recent conference of the American Sociological Association.
Women are sold a story that they can do it all, but most workplaces are still designed for employees without child-care responsibilities, Leupp said in an ASA statement.
Leupp analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which was administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. The survey questioned 1,600 young women across the country about ideas about work and life balance.
They were asked how much they agreed with statements such as Working wives lead to more juvenile delinquency and A woman is happiest if she can stay at home with her children.
Leupp analyzed their answers in the surveys and then looked at their levels of depression when the women were 40 years old.
She found that women who stayed at home were more likely to be depressed, but also that women who struggled to maintain a work and life balance were just as prone to depression.
You can happily combine child rearing and a career, if you're willing to let some things slide, Leupp said in the ASA statement.