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Successful return to work after maternity leave: Self-regulatory and contextual influences

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Review article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2012
Author Wiese Bettina S., Heidemeier Heike,
Project The interplay of work and family during transitions: Integrating individual and systemic influences
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Review article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Research in Human Development
Volume (Issue) 9(4)
Page(s) 317 - 336
Title of proceedings Research in Human Development
DOI 10.1080/15427609.2012.729913


Women’s return to work after maternity leave represents an important developmental transition. Intentional self-regulation can help women successfully master this transition. In a longitudinal study with three waves of measurement waves (5, 11, and 24 weeks after re-entry; N = 267), self-efficacy beliefs and self-regulatory strategies (selection, optimization, compensation; SOC) predicted better work adjustment over time. Most importantly, contextual characteristics interacted with intentional self-regulation: for mothers who worked only a very small number of hours, who had many family obligations and who reported high levels of stress at work, it was particularly adaptive to make use of self-regulatory strategies.