2024 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Do Gender Ideology and Social Support Impact the Mental Health of European Mothers?

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Kristin Snopkowski


Evolutionary anthropologists consider the task of raising children to be a cooperative effort in humans, where mothers can rely on a social network of kin and non-kin, called alloparents, for help. In today’s societies however, humans have shifted towards the practice of a nuclear family, in which children live and are raised mostly within a small family unit. This and other factors such as migration and the acceptance of certain societal gender roles and ideologies regarding parenting may reduce the ability of mothers to access and receive social support. In this study, we explore the correlates between gender ideology, social support and mental health outcomes of mothers with children up to age 14 using data from the Generations and Data Program (GGP). Our results indicate that traditional gender role ideology, where women ascribe to ideas of traditional gender norms, show higher depression scores. Partner support and Maternity leave is also significantly associated with lower depression scores. Our study aims to add to the growing body of literature studying the effects of social support and gender ideology on the mental health outcomes of mothers.

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