Flexible work options and mothers' perceptions of career harm

Jocelyn Elise Crowley, Stanislav Kolenikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Whether or not mothers, who often struggle with balancing work and parenting responsibilities, perceive that they face career harm in exchange for control over flexible work options at their jobs is an unanswered question. Using 2009 original data from a random-digit-dial telephone survey of 441 mothers located across the United States, this study focuses on how control over two latent variables measuring flexibility, flexible work arrangements (such as scheduling and place of work) and time-off options, influences mothers' career harm perceptions in a total of three work domains: (1) wages/earnings, (2) raises or promotions, and (3) job evaluations. We find perceptions of career harm among only one-fifth of mothers; in addition, control over time-off options reduced perceived career damage related to parenting duties. Mothers may have less to fear than previously hypothesized about the potential sacrifices they have to make when they have significant control over certain flexibility options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-195
Number of pages28
JournalSociological Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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