Role Theory, Role Playing, Reflexive Role-Taking,
Role Strain captures the stress or tension that may arise
from the performance of a role.
Role Strain and Incarcerated Mothers:
Understanding the Process of Mothering
Abstract: A survey was administered to 109 mothers incarcerated at a minimum-security
prison. The purpose of this study was to examine a variety of variables
associated with being a mother in prison to determine whether these factors affected the
maternal role strain of incarcerated women.
The findings suggest that women in prison experience high
levels of role strain as a whole. However, white women, women who had served longer
sentences, women who had not lived with their children prior to incarceration, and women
who did not approve of their children's custody arrangements were found to have
significantly higher levels of role strain. The study also indicates that women in prison
will experience less role strain if they are allowed to engage in mothering activities
rather than simply maintaining this prescribed status. - haworthpress.com
Separation in relation to gender role strain in men
William Joseph DeFranc, Boston College
Attachment remains important to the one's emotional and identity development through
adolescence and adulthood. Psychological separation helps to develop a sense of self that
is separate and independent from one's parents. Fathers' influences on the gender role
socialization of boys seems to be greater than that of mothers. Gender role strain in men
has been identified as the failure to fulfill male role expectations, the traumatic
fulfillment of these expectations, and their negative consequences. One posited cause of
gender role strain is the early gender role socialization
process that occurs often within the family context. This study attempts to consolidate
previous research in parental attachment, psychological separation, and men's gender role
A sample of 231 men from a private university and a two year urban college in the
Northeast participated in the study by completing the Gender Role Conflict Scale,
Masculine Gender Role Stress Scale, Parental Attachment Questionnaire, Psychological
Separation Inventory, and a demographics sheet. Participants also estimated their fathers'
gender role strain on these measures. All five hypotheses that gender role strain is
related to parental attachment and psychological separation were supported.
Partner Role Strain
What is Partner Role Strain?
Illness or stress often affects both the patient and his partner/family members. Family
members may experience physical, emotional, social, and/or financial problems due to
caring for a loved one. Stress that is unresolved can lead to dissatisfaction which can
lead to increased role strain.
What happens when you experience Partner Role Strain?
You may be overwhelmed by daily tasks.
You may feel frustrated or angry due to added responsibilities
You may experience anxiety and/or sadness about your care situation.
You may notice fatigue or lack of energy.
You may be dissatisfied with your ability to perform caregiving tasks, routine tasks, or
your relationship with your partner.
What causes Partner Role Strain?
Partner role strain results when stress temporarily outweighs Your ability to cope.
How can I cope with Partner Role Strain?
Make a list of all of your obligations, including children, outside employment, clubs or
groups, and your additional caregiving tasks.
Try to give up as many tasks or competing roles as you can, if even for a few days or
What can family or significant others do to help
with Partner Role Strain?
Tell your family or significant other exactly what you need help with and ask them for it.
How can I talk with my partner about my role
Identify what you need help with or changed.
Calmly discuss your needs with your partner.
Brainstorm with your partner possible solutions.