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The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Gender, Culture, and College Students’ Views about Work and Family


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Wendy A. Goldberg, Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine, 4201 Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway, Irvine, CA 92697-7085 [e-mail:].


A culturally/ethnically diverse sample of 955 students (M = 20.2 years old) at a large U.S. university completed online surveys about their parents’ division of labor, trajectories of their mothers’ employment, gender role ideology, and beliefs about the costs and benefits of maternal employment for children. Differences in these work–care domains were examined by student gender, culture/ethnicity, acculturation status, and own employment. Generational differences in beliefs about maternal employment also were examined. Propensity score matching reduced selection bias. Asian American students, especially male students and those less acculturated, were more likely to endorse gender role segregation and maternal nonemployment when children are young. Their mothers’ employment and own employment status were associated with more positive views about maternal employment. However, students’ work–care beliefs have held fairly constant since the 1980s. The views of young adults about career and care may impinge on their success in attaining work–family goals. The more things change, the more they stay the same: Gender, culture, and college students’ views about work and family