A survey of pediatricians' attitudes and practices about maternal employment.
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A survey of pediatricians' attitudes and practices about maternal employment.

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    A survey of 281 members (31 percent) of the Texas Pediatric Society was performed in 1981 to assess members' knowledge of, attitudes toward, and practices regarding mothers who work outside the home. Only 15 percent correctly answered two of three knowledge questions about maternal employment. Thirty-five percent of the pediatricians failed to inquire about maternal employment. Although only 1 percent advised all mothers not to work, 22 percent said that mothers with children at home should not work. Most pediatricians had traditional conservative attitudes and opinions (exemplified by the statement "a woman's place is in the home") in regard to two factors, "acceptability of maternal employment" and "effects of maternal employment on children." More liberal views were associated with more recent graduation from medical school, being a woman, having a working wife, being in favor of wife's working status, and knowledge of statistics concerning maternal employment. These results suggest that if the practices of those Texas pediatricians who responded correspond with other pediatricians' practices in the United States, a large proportion of pediatricians may not be providing adequate support for the 17 million working mothers and their children.
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