Objectives: This study clusters mothers based on their perceived gains and strains on combining work and parenting roles. The differences of mothers parenting stress, parenting behaviors (warmth/controlling) and mother-child interactions by the clusters were also explored.
Methods: A total of 694 mothers who were available of Work-Family Gains and Strains data in the 8th wave of the Panel Study of Korea Children were participants of this study. For clustering the mothers, factor analysis, hierarchical clustering analysis and K-means clustering analyses were employed. The differences of pareting stress, parenting behaviors and mother-child interactions by clusters were explored using analysis of covariance.
Results: Mothers were clustered into strain dominant , both high , both low and gain dominant groups. Gain dominant mothers tended to report lower parenting stress, higher warmth parenting behaviors, and more frequent mother-child interactions in comparison to mothers in the other clusters. Strain dominant mothers tended to report higher parenting stress, lower warmth parenting, and less frequent mother-child interactions.
Conclusions: For studying work-parenting balance of mothers, the compromised point where their perceived strains and gains meet, should be seriously considered rather than treating the gains and strains as separate dimensions. Also, the most desirable balancing point between work and parenting needs should be investigated for working mothers and their children.