Perceived Discrimination and Psychological Distress among Pregnant Women in the Workplace and Academic Environment
Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace and academic environment is an issue that many women face today despite the current progressive social culture. Women face threats such as negative evaluations, interpersonal discrimination, possibility of lost promotions, and pressure to take short leaves after delivery. Additionally, discrimination has been found to cause psychological distress, and it is well-known that significant stress among pregnant women can have dire consequences such as premature birth and low birth weight. Given the fact that women comprise more than half of today's workforce, it is worthy to investigate more fully the phenomenon of pregnancy in the workplace, and the resultant psychological distress with which the woman is unfairly burdened. This project explored the frequency and degree of perceived discrimination among pregnant women in the workplace and academic environment as well as their coping styles and symptoms of psychological distress. A secondary aim of this project was to examine the degree to which pregnant women internalize biases. One hundred and forty two participants were included in this study. It was found that approximately one half of the sample experienced some form of discrimination based on pregnancy and that such discrimination, in certain aspects, correlated significantly with psychological distress. Women working in woman-friendly environments reported significantly less frequency of discrimination than did women working in non woman-friendly environments. Results of this study underscore the need to face the issue of pregnancy discrimination today and take steps towards reducing negative treatment women may face upon choosing to occupy multiple roles.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 76-06(E), Section: B.;Advisors: Charles Swencionis.