PREGNANCY AND WORK: A MIXED-METHODS STUDY OF JOB SATISFACTION AND TURNOVER INTENTIONS DURING A FIRST PREGNANCY
Hoffman, Mary Ann
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Despite the prevalence of working mothers and mothers-to-be, there is a paucity of research on the intersection of pregnancy and work. This study used a mixed methods approach to examine the workplace experiences of women who were working full-time during their first pregnancy. Participants (N = 166) represented a diverse sample in terms of geographic location (36 states), income level ($25,000 to over $200,000), education level (less than high school through doctorate) and age range (18-42). Quantitative results showed that pregnancy-related work stress, social support in the workplace, level of satisfaction with family leave policies, and the employee’s level of negative affect are all factors related to job satisfaction and turnover intentions for pregnant employees working full-time in the United States. Qualitative data about women’s supportive and unsupportive workplace experiences during pregnancy were also collected and coded using a modified version of Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR-M; Spangler, Liu, & Hill, 2012). Supportive and unsupportive experiences were coded into the following themes: 1) Things people do and say in the workplace, 2) Demands of the job, 3) Pay, 4) Career trajectory, 5) Paid leave, 6) Support for maternity leave, 7) Help from colleagues, and 8) Other parents in the workplace. Coders also identified more specific categories of experiences within each theme. These and other results, as well as implications for employers, employees, and career counselors, are addressed in this manuscript.