Sex Roles

, Volume 67, Issue 5–6, pp 351–362

Finding Female Fulfillment: Intersecting Role-Based and Morality-Based Identities of Motherhood, Feminism, and Generativity as Predictors of Women’s Self Satisfaction and Life Satisfaction

  • Christine E. Rittenour
  • Colleen Warner Colaner
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11199-012-0186-7

Cite this article as:
Rittenour, C.E. & Colaner, C.W. Sex Roles (2012) 67: 351. doi:10.1007/s11199-012-0186-7


Focused on 113 U.S. mothers of college-aged daughters, we extend the existent role-based identity literature to address role- and morality-based identities and their ties to women’s fulfillment. Specifically, women’s identities as mothers, feminists, and generative individuals were assessed for their associations with each other, as well as their unique and combined associations with women’s self satisfaction and life satisfaction. Across the results, generativity yielded the greatest significance. Women with higher generativity identity report having higher self satisfaction and life satisfaction; women who were highly committed to mothering have stronger associations between generativity and life satisfaction. Women with strong generativity identities also tend to identify themselves as feminists. Feminist and mothering identity were not related to one another nor directly tied to satisfaction with one’s self nor life. Implications are discussed regarding continued assessment of role- and morality-based identity intersections as well as to the functions and limitations of the three identities and their assessment featured herein.


Identity Role strain Role enhancement Altruism Morality Parenting Roles Wellbeing 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine E. Rittenour
    • 1
  • Colleen Warner Colaner
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Communication StudiesWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Department of CommunicationUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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