Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Psychology


Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (iv, 30 pages) : 1 illustration.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Ho Kwan Cheung

Committee Members

Jason Randall


Career Outcomes, Income, Maternity leave, Parental leave, Wages

Subject Categories



An increasing number of mothers are involved in the workforce and often take maternity leave. Women taking maternity leave experience various career implications. Importantly, leave length can impact the nature of these career outcomes. In this study, I explore the relationship between length of maternity leave and one key career outcome: income. Drawing from social role theories, I investigated whether longer parental leave is related to less positive career outcomes, such as income across women over time and if there is a curvilinear relationship between length of maternity leave and women’s income, such that the relationship between length of leave and income is more positive with shorter leaves compared to no leave but becomes less positive as length of leave increases. The sample involved participants from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 97 (NLSY97) conducted in the U.S. Results indicated no significant linear or curvilinear relationship between leave length and income. These findings have implications for organizations and policy makers who work towards improving the quality of parental leave policies. More broadly, this research provides perspectives on the salary trajectory for mothers taking maternity leave and offers insight on greater societal implications for women.

Included in

Psychology Commons