Work Family Society Projects

Scholars at the Wellesley Centers undertake research initiatives that explore issues affecting work/life balance, including child care, work-leave policies, and gender roles. Research and action programs that address women’s leadership inform business practice and policy in the U.S. and within our global-network-partner communities. The Women’s Review of Books, a special publication of the Centers, puts women’s perspectives and voices at the center of literary contributions.





  • Women’s Leadership in Residential Theaters

    Ongoing since 2013
    Women's Leadership

    Wellesley Centers for Women has partnered with American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) to launch a research study into gender equity in leadership opportunities in the nonprofit American theater.



  • Womanist Studies and Applied Womanism

    Ongoing since 2012
    Womanist Studies and Applied Womanism

    This work revolves around helping to build and define the burgeoning field of womanist studies.



  • The Massachusetts Child Care Subsidy Study

    Completed 2012
    Child-care usage among low income families 

    workfamilieschildren_small20The primary purpose of the study was to provide a picture of child care usage among Massachusetts low-income families.



  • Working Conditions and Health

    Ongoing since 1985
    Study of working conditions and impact on health

    workfamilieschildren_small20Working Conditions and Health is a group of inter-related research projects with a common interest in understanding the relation of working conditions to the physical and mental health of workers.



  • An in-depth look at teen/parent sexual communication

    Completed
    Teen/Parent sexual communication

    This project is an in-depth qualitative investigation of teen/parent communication about sex and relationships, which provides an in-depth look at families participating in the evaluation of middle school education program. It includes interviews with 32 teen/parent pairs who are participants in the Get Real middle school sex education program.



  • Parental Choice: Research Evidence from Two National Datasets

    Ongoing since 2010
    Family relationships

    workfamilieschildren_small20This project looks at two national datasets to explore the relations among child, family, employment, and program characteristics and parental choice.



  • Family Policies and Women’s Labor Market Careers

    Ongoing since 2011
    A comparison between the U.S. and Finland

    This research project is divided into two separate sub-projects. The first concentrates on analyzing the effects of family leave policies in the United States. The analysis uses micro data from the U.S. to evaluate the economic issues related to parental leaves. The changes in Federal and State level parental leave mandates in the 1980s and 1990s provide an interesting setting in which the career impacts of parental leaves can be evaluated. The second research stream will perform a similar evaluation using Finnish data. Finland has an extensive family leave policy that was developed over the last 40 years, providing a useful comparison to the United States. The project is funded by the 35th Anniversary Fund of the WCW.



  • Men’s Changing Family Roles

    Ongoing since 2011
    Men’s Changing Family Roles


    workfamilieschildren_small20This is a study of the relation between fathers’ high levels of involvement in childrearing and various family outcomes: quality of the marriage, the mother's report of social support, the quality of the mother-child relationship and of the father-child relationship, and the quality of family interactions when the children are in elementary school.



  • Community Dialogue and Needs Assessment for Addressing Traumatic Stress among African Resettled Refugee Youth in New Hampshire

    2007 - 2011
    Assessing Refugee Youth Mental Health in NH

    The project involves a needs assessment of child and adolescent refugee mental health services in New Hampshire and utilizes community dialogue strategies for integrating youth, family, provider, school and community knowledge and expertise towards addressing refugee mental health needs especially as it relates to trauma and in the context of resettlement.



  • Work, Families and Children

    Ongoing since 1986
    Assessing Child Care Issues in Working Families

    workfamilieschildren This long-term program brings together research on employment, work and family issues, and child care as a support for working families.



  • Child Care Voucher Project

    Completed 2007
    Assessing Massachusetts' Voucher System

    workfamilieschildren_small20WCW researchers participated in a study, led by Dr. Valora Washington and under the auspices of the Bessie Tartt Wilson Children’s Foundation, to evaluate the child care voucher system in Massachusetts.



  • Influence of Early Care and Education on Children's Outcomes and Family Functioning: An Ecological Model

    2004-2006
    An Ecological Model: ECE, Children's Outcomes and Family Functioning

    workfamilieschildren_small20This study examines the varying quality of child care in Massachusetts and across the nation, and its effect on children's performance and family functioning.



  • Cross-Cities Network

    Completed in 2007
    Leaders of After-School Initiatives

    This project connected high-level leaders from different cities and states to educate them on the dynamic landscape of after-school programs. in hopes of directing the influence, funding, and high expectations of these leaders towards a "critical mass" of associated initiatives across the country.



  • Building a Skilled and Stable Workforce for After School Programs

     
    Building Afterschool Programs: Workforce

    Researchers gathered economists, policy-makers, and funders to develop several recommendations for building a skilled and stable workforce for After School Programs.



  • Working Connections Project: A special project at the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute

    Growth-Fostering Connections in Work Environments

    This project is designed to explore and develop approaches to enhancing business practice and productivity through relational and emotional intelligence, and encourages mutual empowerment, the shifting of organizational norms, and continuous learning and teaching.



  • Perceptions of Work Environments and Relationships (POWER)

    Completed in 2006
    Social Class Perceptions of Work Environments

    This program examined the ways urban high school students benefit from and utilize school-to-work programs, with an exploration of class differences on work relationships and overall experience.



  • Bringing Yourself to Work: Caregiving in After-School Environments

    2004-2005
    Caregiving in After-School Environments

    Researchers of this project found that adults who have an awareness of their own relational needs and capacities have the potential to be more effective caregivers and role models in childcare setting, resulting in better outcomes for both the adults and children.



  • Puerto Rican Young Fathers' Involvement with Their Children

    1999-2003
    Puerto Rican Fathers and Their Children

    This study utilized the data from interviews to determine what factors permeated the experiences of young Puerto Rican fathers.



  • Exploratory Study of Same-Sex Marriage

    Completed 2005
    Same-Sex Marriage in Massachusetts

    Researchers examined the ways in which same-sex couples in Massachusetts perceived marriage. Interviews with couples and children illuminated reasons why same-sex couples may or may not marry and related social influences.



  • Critical Mass Project

    2006-2008
    Women on Corporate Boards

    Researchers will interview women board members and men who have served on boards with women among Fortune 1000 companies to determine how a critical mass of women serving on a board affects corporate governance.



  • Mothers-Sons Project: A special project at the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute

    Ongoing
    Relationships Between Mothers and Sons

    This study seeks to emphasize connection between mothers and sons by defining stages in development and countering the pressures faced in each one.



  • Employment, Work Conditions and Health Among Older Workers

    Completed 2004
    Workplace environment influences on older workers' health 

    workfamilieschildren_small20This project proposes to advance scientific knowledge regarding the relationship between health and work, and both the positive and negative conditions within a workplace.  This study asks how important employment really is toward productivity and health in an older workers' life.



  • Changing Workforce

     
    Employment in the 21st Century

    workfamilieschildren_small20This group of inter-related research projects examines three related changes in the U.S. workplace - rising employment in the service industries, increased diversity of the workforce, and the increase in numbers of older workers.