RELIGIOUS AND SECULAR FACTORS OF ROLE STRAIN IN ORTHODOX JEWISH MOTHERS (WOMEN, RELIGION)
BUNIM, SARAH SILVER
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Role strain in Orthodox mothers caused by the interface of the religious and secular world was studied, using respondents from three groups of Orthodox mothers: Kollel, Agudah and Young Israel. The hypothesis of the study stated that the degree of role strain in Orthodox mothers will vary with the degree of commitment to halakhah and involvement in the secular world. In-person interviews were done with twenty-five mothers from each group chosen. The interview questionnaire allowed for open-ended responses and specific answers to the same questions in multiple choice form, permitting both the collection of qualitative data and eliciting responses that could be validly and reliably quantified. The range of the questionnaire included variables relating to the religious/social and secular/social factors of the Orthodox mother's role.;The findings supported the hypothesis. There was role strain in each group of Orthodox mothers which varied according to the degree of commitment to halakhah and their involvement in the secular world.;Kollel mothers are precise in their halakhic observance. Role strain occurs when a Kollel mother feels unable to fulfill perceived religious role demands. Her religious motivation to work which serves as a support for her husband's Torah study mitigates role strain which might occur in relation to her work.;There are Agudah mothers who are precise in their halakhic observance and those who are not. Role strain occurs when there is a religious double standard in the family. Role strain occurs as the result of daily interaction with the secular world which is a potent source of conflicting cognitions and is antithetical to the ideology of their religious authorities.;Young Israel mothers are not precise in their halakhic observance. Role strain usually does not occur around religious matters. Role strain occurs when efforts toward achievement in career and communal activities do not meet the Young Israel mother's expectations.