Can I Do All This and Then Have a Kid? Family Formation Intentions among Graduate Students
Chelsea Smith, University of Texas at Austin
Bridget K. Gorman, Rice University
Kristen Schilt, University of Chicago
Fertility timing and work-family balance are pressing issues for many young adults. In academia, they reflect large-scale gender inequities, especially for women in STEM fields. Our longitudinal, mixed-methods study of gender and graduate school experience evaluates: level of thought about work-family balance, and whether ideal time to have a(nother) child would be different if not for graduate school. We find work-family balance is especially important for STEM women, married students, and students with children. Spillover (both positive and negative) from family to work life is also positively related to work-family balance. Finally, female mentorship is related to significantly more thought to work-family balance. Our findings thus far have worrisome implications: graduate students express great concern over what they view as an inherent work-family conflict in academia. Analysis of our other dependent variable, ideal timing for a(nother) child, will likely further this perception, since we expect graduate students are delaying their fertility.
Presented in Poster Session 4