Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

The situational explanation revisited: Gender, work, family, and political participation

Angela High-Pippert, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Using a multimethod approach, this dissertation explores how the situational factors of work and family affect the political participation of women and men. Previous studies tended to examine either the effects of employment or children on women's political participation. Since the majority of employed women are mothers, this study considers the combined effect of these two situational factors. It also examines the effects of the new fatherhood and the division of household labor on political participation levels. ^ The quantitative analyses use 1994 and 1996 American National Election Study data. An analysis of mean scores indicates that parenthood has a differing impact on men's and women's political participation. Employed men's participation increases with the presence of young children and further increases with older children. For women, the age of the child is significant. Young children dampen the participation levels of employed women and homemakers, while older children positively affect the participation of employed women and particularly homemakers. ^ However, once these situational factors of employment and children must compete with other variables in multiple regression analyses, their connection to political participation becomes much less clear. Education, income, political interest, and political efficacy win out over situational factors as predictors of women's and men's political participation. Results of the qualitative study, intensive interviews with married couples with children, also highlight the significance of political interest to political participation. ^ These findings indicate that previous studies may have overstated the importance of situational factors to women's political participation. It appears as though women and men with high levels of political interest will participate in political activity regardless of their situational factors. ^

Subject Area

Women's Studies|Political Science, General|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

High-Pippert, Angela, "The situational explanation revisited: Gender, work, family, and political participation" (1999). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9942127.