The Intrapersonal Experience of Pregnancy at Work: an Exploratory Study

  • David F. ArenaJrEmail author
  • Kristen P. Jones
  • Isaac E. Sabat
  • Eden B. King
Original Paper


The experiences of pregnant employees in the American workforce is a central topic of conversation in current sociopolitical discourse. While previous research focuses more on how pregnant employees can shape others’ impressions of themselves, we shift the lens to explore the intrapersonal experiences of pregnant employees. Using a weekly survey methodology, we examined the extent to which utilizing different coping strategies (active coping and denial) shapes perceptions of both time-based pregnancy-to-work (PWC) and work-to-pregnancy conflict (WPC) over a period of four weeks. The results suggest that using denial as a coping strategy led to increased PWC the following week. Additionally, we found evidence that conflict felt during pregnancy spilled over to predict lower positive affect six months postpartum. We provide some of the first data on the influence of the intrapersonal experiences of pregnant employees not only during their time at work, but also when returning to work postpartum.


Pregnancy Coping strategies Perceived conflict Postpartum affect Longitudinal 


Funding Information

This data collection efforts for this study were funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (grant number 221699)

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David F. ArenaJr
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kristen P. Jones
    • 1
  • Isaac E. Sabat
    • 2
  • Eden B. King
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ManagementFogelman College of Business and Economics, The University of MemphisMemphisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyRice UniversityHoustonUSA

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