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                            University of Missouri, St. Louis
IRL @ UMSL
	12-12-2016
The Public Consequences of a Personal Choice: The Impact of the Decision to be Childfree in Family-Friendly America
	Emily Ingalls
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University of Missouri, St. Louis
IRL @ UMSL

Dissertations UMSL Graduate Works

12-12-2016

The Public Consequences of a Personal Choice:
The Impact of the Decision to be Childfree in
Family-Friendly America
Emily Ingalls
University of Missouri-St. Louis

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The Public Consequences of a Personal Choice:

The Impact of the Decision to be Childfree in Family-Friendly America



Emily A. Ingalls

M. A., Psychology, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2012

B.A. Psychology, Coe College, 2010







A Dissertation Submitted to The Graduate School at the University of Missouri-St. Louis in

partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology with an emphasis in Industrial and Organizational





December 2016



Advisory Committee

Mark Tubbs, Ph.D.

Chairperson

Stephanie Merritt, Ph.D.

John Meriac, Ph.D.

Alice Hall, Ph.D.

Copyright, Emily A. Ingalls, 2016

Page 79

CHILDFREE IN FAMILY-FRIENDLY AMERICA 78

Asian, or racially ambiguous adults. Furthermore, a comparison between adults of

different races would create an interesting comparison between parent status, gender, and

increasingly global and diverse workforce.

The results of this study suggest the potential for variance based on the individual

manipulate this variable specifically, future research should examine if results vary if the

decision-maker is mentioned directly. It is possible that the sex of the target could

magnify existing differences between parents and non-parents.

This study also did not manipulate the job type of the target, but rather chose a

deliberately gender-neutral job type. Given the impact of parent status on interpersonal

warmth found in the study, it would be interesting to examine if this result is augmented

when in a more traditionally female-dominated job type (e.g., nurse, teacher) or

attenuated when in a traditionally male-dominated job type (e.g., engineer). In addition to

job type, different industries could be studied as well. It is possible that differences based

on parent status could be found when comparing more traditional industries (e.g.,

manufacturing) to more progressive industries (e.g., technology). Variance may emerge

on workplace variables surrounding promotability as a result.

Finally, part of the request made by the target across the conditions in this

research is for the organization to develop a formal work-from-home policy that

stipulates the requirements to work-from-home and makes it possible for fairness to be

achieved across the board. Though actual support and acceptance of the policy may vary

from team-to-team or job-to-job, future research should examine the role of formal policy

Page 158

CHILDFREE IN FAMILY-FRIENDLY AMERICA 157

Figures

Figure 1. Social Deviance for Parent Status x Target Gender







Figure 2. Interpersonal Warmth for Parent Status x Target Gender



2.75

2.8

2.85

2.9

2.95

3

3.05

3.1

3.15

3.2

3.25

3.3

Childfree Childless Parent

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o

c
ia

l
D

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ia

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Parent Status

Male

Female

3.8

3.9

4

4.1

4.2

4.3

4.4

4.5

4.6

4.7

4.8

4.9

Childfree Childless Parent

In
te

rp
e
rs

o
n

a
l
W

a
rm

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Parent Status

Male

Female

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