Committee Chair

Biderman, Michael D.


Dept. of Psychology


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


This study examined the relationship between group membership (by maritalstatus and sex) and the salience of the family role identities of caregiver and provider. It was expected that both the provider and caregiver roles would be salient for single parents. Results indicated that mothers identified with the caregiver role to a greater extent than fathers. However, no support was found for the idea that custodial single fathers identify with the caregiver role to the same extent as mothers. Results marginally supported the idea that custodial single mothers identify with the provider role as highly as fathers do, whereas married mothers do not identify with this role as highly as fathers. Role conflict was also examined to determine if custodial single parents had higher levels of this variable than other working individuals. It was expected that the high salience of both roles for custodial single parents would lead to higher levels of role conflict for this group than other groups. However, there were no significant differences in role conflict for the groups. Finally, the association between role conflict and the outcomes of organizational commitment, internal motivation, and absenteeism were assessed. It was expected that high levels of role conflict would be associated with low levels of organizational commitment, low levels of internal motivation, and high levels of absenteeism. However, results did not support the idea that role conflict is associated with organizational commitment or internal motivation and only marginally supported the idea that role conflict is associated with absenteeism. Limitations of the study and future research directions are discussed.


I would like to thank Mark Agars for serving as my advisor and heading my thesis committee. I appreciate the time he took to meet with me. I would also like to give my gratitude to the entire thesis committee, which consisted of Mark Agars, Michael Biderman, and Amye Warren. Their comments and suggestions were invaluable to the quality of my thesis. In addition, I would like to give a special thanks to Michael Biderman for taking time to help me with all of my statistics issues--from figuring out the best analyses to use to answering all my e-mail messages concerning syntax difficulties. All of these individuals' time and effort were much appreciated. In addition, I would like to thank my parents, Hurless and Rosalie Broughton, and my husband, Ben Linser. I would not have gotten through this without them. They listened to me gripe as well as gave me support and encouragement. They were the individuals who gave me the inspiration to persist.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Organizational commitment; Single parents; Motivation (Psychology)


Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Document Type

Masters theses




vi, 82 leaves



Call Number

LB2369.2 .B768 1999