Wendy Knight


Maternal emotional support affects the early career behaviors of daughters, yet little is known about its contribution to the career outcomes of women later in life. This study used a lifespan approach along with relational theory to study the career satisfaction and life satisfaction of 101 employed, middle-aged women of the baby boom generation. Correlational analysis determined that career satisfaction and life satisfaction were strongly correlated, with much of the shared variance explained by supportive relationships at home and at work. Also strongly correlated with both career satisfaction and life satisfaction was the belief that one's career goals had been realistic. Maternal emotional support did not predict career satisfaction, but it may have contributed to the formulation of goals and to the development of relational skills that led to supportive relationships. Maternal emotional support did predict life satisfaction. The study is limited in its generalizability because of the restricted range of the sample's demographic variables. Recommendations for practice center around the acknowledgment of women's relational identity and the development of relational competencies.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Martinez, Tomás