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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


LASIO, Diego; PUTZU, Daniela  and  SERRI, Francesco. Transition to parenthood, family work, and women's health. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2018, vol.19, n.1, pp.94-100. ISSN 1645-0086.

During the transition to parenthood, heterosexual couples adopt traditional gender roles. Women undertake more responsibilities in family work (Katz-Wise, Priess, & Hyde, 2010). Difficulties in balancing paid work and family can influence women's health (Rantanen, 2008). This paper aims to disclose discourses (Billig, 1987) that maintain the gender gap in family work during the transition to parenthood. Twenty couples during the third trimester of pregnancy responded to an in-depth interview on expectations about the division of family work and work-family balance. Data were analysed according to the principles of Discourse Analysis (Potter & Wetherell, 1987), with the aim of identifying the interpretive repertoires that support the greater responsibility of women in family work. Results revealed that couples referred to an essentialist view of gender (Connell, 2009), which considered women as essentially predisposed to mothering. Exclusive maternal responsibility for child-care is associated with women's concerns for work-family balance. Findings evidenced the need for interventions aimed at deconstructing discourses that maintain the unequal distribution of responsibilities, in order to prevent health risks for working mothers.

Keywords : transition to parenthood; family work; gender gap; working mother's health.

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