Document Type

Senior Thesis

Publication Date



In this study, I examine how the media frame parental leave in the United States. To do so, I conducted a content analysis of over 200 news articles from the New York Times, and also created a survey distributed to introductory political science classes. In the content analysis, I find that parental leave is both an episodic and thematic news issue, has less negative coverage than most news issues, and evolved from a merely mentioned issue to an economic issue over time. This research also shows that female and male authors do not frame parental leave differently; in fact, women frame parental leave more negatively than men do. In the survey experiment, I conclude that women are more favorable than men towards parental leave, but it appears that the frames in the survey did not have a large effect on attitudes toward parental leave policies, either for women or men.