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Gender equality and maternal burnout

Do women/mothers in countries with more egalitarian societies experience lower psychological distress? Research conducted in 40 countries by an international team of researchers, including Dorota Szczygieł, Ph.D./Assistant Professor from SWPS University’s Faculty of Psychology in Sopot, indicates that this is not the case.

#egalitarian values #paradox of gender equality #parental burnout #family-friendly policy

What we researched:

  • Motherhood in countries characterized by a high level of gender equality. The researchers hypothesized that experiencing inequality in parenting when one holds egalitarian values and raising a child in a country characterized by a high level of gender equality in other areas, increases mothers’ psychological distress in the specific area of parenting.

How we did it:

  • The researchers carried out multilevel modeling analyses computed among 11,538 mothers from 40 countries.

Why is it important:

  • Because the study has indicated that high egalitarian values at the individual level and high gender equality at the societal level are associated with higher burnout levels in mothers. The study has also shown the importance of egalitarian values and gender equality and their paradoxical effect when inequalities are still present in specific areas as parenting. Furthermore, the study revealed the crucial need to act not only at the micro level but also at the macro level to promote gender equality in parenting and prevent parental burnout.