Research in Higher Education

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 423–446 | Cite as

Faculty Research Productivity: Exploring the Role of Gender and Family-Related Factors

  • Linda J. Sax
  • Linda Serra Hagedorn
  • Marisol Arredondo
  • Frank A. DicrisiIII


This study explores the role of several family-related factors in faculty research productivity for a large, nationally representative sample of university faculty members. The role of marriage, children, and aging parents is examined after controlling for other personal and environmental factors, such as age, rank, department, and intrinsic motivations to conduct research, that previous research has shown to influence research productivity. Analyses are conducted on a sample of 8,544 full-time teaching faculty (2,384 women and 6,160 men) at 57 universities nationwide. Results show that factors affecting faculty research productivity are nearly identical for men and women, and family-related variables, such as having dependent children, exhibit little or no effects on research productivity.

faculty research productivity family-related factors 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Astin, A. W., Korn, W. S., and Dey, E. L. (1991). The American College Teacher: National Norms for the 1989-90 HERI Faculty Survey. Los Angeles; Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA.Google Scholar
  2. Astin, H. S. (1969). The Woman Doctorate in America. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  3. Astin, H. S. (1978). Factors affecting women' scholarly productivity. In A.S. Astin and W. Z. Hirsch (eds.), The Higher Education of Women: Essays in Honor of Rosemary Park, pp. 133-157. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  4. Astin, H. S., and Davis, D. E. (1985). Research productivity across the life and career cycles: facilitator and barriers for women. Reprinted in J. S. Glazer, E. M. Bensimon, and B. K. Townsend (eds.), Women in Higher Education: A Feminist Perspective, pp. 415-423. Needham Heights, MA: ASHE Reader Series, Ginn Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bassara, B. B. (1979). Career patterns of female professors in West Berlin institutions of higher education. Journal of the NAWDAC 24(4): 22-30.Google Scholar
  6. Bayer, A. E. (1973). Teaching Faculty in Academe: 1972-73. ACE Research Report, Volume 8, No. 2. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.Google Scholar
  7. Bayer, A. E., and Dutton, J. (1977). Career age and research-professional activity of academic scientists. Journal of Higher Education 48: 259-282.Google Scholar
  8. Bellas, M. L., and Toutkoushian, R. K. (1999). Faculty time allocations and research productivity: Gender, race and family effects. The Review of Higher Education 22: 367-390.Google Scholar
  9. Bentley, R. J., and Blackburn, R. T. (1990). Relationship of faculty publication performance with age, career age, and rank. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education. Portland, OR.Google Scholar
  10. Biglan, A. (1973). Relationships between subject matter characteristics and the structure and output of university departments. Journal of Applied Psychology 57(3): 204-213.Google Scholar
  11. Blackburn, R. T., Bieber, J. P., Lawrence, J. H., and Trauvetter, L. C. (1991). Faculty at work: focus on research, scholarship and service. Research in Higher Education 32: 385-413.Google Scholar
  12. Cole, J. R., and Zuckerman, H. (1987). Marriage, motherhood and research performance in science. Scientific American 256: 119-125.Google Scholar
  13. Collins, Lynn H. (1998). Competition and contact: The dynamics behind resistance to affirmative action in academe. In L. H. Collins, J. C. Chrisler, and K. Quina (eds.), Career Strategies for Women in Academe: Arming Athena. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  14. Crane, D. (1965). Scientists at major and minor universities: a study of productivity and recognition. American Sociological Review 30: 699-714.Google Scholar
  15. Creamer, E. G. (1995). The scholarly productivity of women academics. Initiatives 57(1): 1-9.Google Scholar
  16. Creamer, E. G. (1998). Assessing Faculty Publication Productivity: Issues of Equity. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report Volume, 26, No. 2. Washington, DC: The George Washington University, Graduate School of Education and Human Development.Google Scholar
  17. Finkel, S. K., and Olswang, S. G. (1994). Impediments to tenure for female assistant professors. Paper presented at the 19th Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Tucson, AZ, November 10-13.Google Scholar
  18. Fulton, O., and Trow, M. (1974). Research activity in American higher education. Sociology of Education 47: 29-73.Google Scholar
  19. Gmelch, W. H., Wilke, P. K., and Lovrich, N. P. (1986). Dimensions of stress among university faculty: factor-analytic results from a national study. Research in Higher Education 24: 266-286.Google Scholar
  20. Golden, J., and Carstensen, F. V. (1992). Academic research productivity, department size and organization: further results, comment. Economics of Education Review 11: 153-160.Google Scholar
  21. Hagedorn, L. S., and Sax, L. J. (1999). Marriage, Children, and Aging Parents: The Role or Family-Related Factors in Faculty Job Satisfaction. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada, April 1999.Google Scholar
  22. Hamovitch, W., and Morgenstern, R. D. (1977). Children and the productivity of academic women. Journal of Higher Education XLVII: 633-645.Google Scholar
  23. Hensel, N. (1991). Realizing Gender Equality in Higher Education: The Need to Integrate Work/Family Issues. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 2. Washington, DC: The George Washington University, Graduate School of Education and Human Development.Google Scholar
  24. Herndon, M. D. (1995). Elder care comes of age. CUPA Journal 46(3): 35-38.Google Scholar
  25. Hobbs, F. B. (1999). The Elderly Population. Report of the U.S. Census Bureau Internet report: Http://www.census/population/www/pop-profile/elderpop html. January 21, 1999.Google Scholar
  26. Lawrence, J. H., and Blackburn, R. T. (1988). Age as a predictor of faculty productivity. Journal of Higher Education 59: 22-38.Google Scholar
  27. Meador, M., Walters, S. J. K., and Jordan, J. M. (1992). Academic research productivity: reply, still further results. Economics of Education Review 11: 161-167.Google Scholar
  28. Pedhazur, E. J. (1982). Multiple Regression in Behavioral Research. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers.Google Scholar
  29. Rausch, D. K., Ortiz, B. P., Douthitt, R. A., and Reed, L. L. (1989). The academic revolving door: why do women get caught? CUPA Journal 40: 1-16.Google Scholar
  30. Sax, L. J., Astin, A. W., Korn, W. S., and Gilmartin, S. K. (1999). The American College Teacher: National Norms for the 1998-99 HERI Faculty Survey. Los Angeles: Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA.Google Scholar
  31. Stoecker, J. L. (1993). The Biglan classification revisited. Research in Higher Education 34(4): 451-464.Google Scholar
  32. U.S. Bureau of the Census (1995). Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1995, 115th ed. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  33. Ward, K. B., and Grant, L. (1996). Gender and academic publishing. In J. Smart (ed.), Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, Vol. XI, pp. 172-212. Edison, NJ: Agathon.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda J. Sax
    • 1
  • Linda Serra Hagedorn
    • 2
  • Marisol Arredondo
    • 3
  • Frank A. DicrisiIII
    • 4
  1. 1.Higher Education Research InstituteLos Angeles
  2. 2.University of Southern CaliforniaUSA
  3. 3.Chapman UniversityUSA
  4. 4.University of California Los AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations