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Clergywomen and Role Management: A Study of Clergywomen Negotiating Maternity Leave

Abstract

This study explores 12 clergywomen’s experience of negotiating maternity leave with their congregations. Role theory and grounded theory methods were used to explore the experience and the implications it had on how participants understood and managed their roles as mothers and pastors. The resulting model for role management through the process of negotiating maternity leave identifies and describes the causal conditions, contributing factors, experience of the phenomenon, and consequences. Major findings are that the most influential church factor seems to be the overall stability and organizational health of the congregation and its leadership and that a judicatory-level policy may be the only effective intervention in a difficult negotiation.

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Correspondence to Erin C. Sharp.

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Sharp, E.C., Huebner, A.J. Clergywomen and Role Management: A Study of Clergywomen Negotiating Maternity Leave. Pastoral Psychol 63, 147–170 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11089-013-0539-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11089-013-0539-3

Keywords

  • Clergywomen
  • Maternity leave
  • Role theory
  • Work-life balance
  • Transition to motherhood