Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Art

First Advisor

Ray Becvar

Second Advisor

Pat Openlander

Third Advisor

Harry Bradley


This study was concerned with the working status of married women and what impact, if any, that work status had in motivating these women to initiate marital separation.

The methodology used in this culminating project was qualitative. Research was conducted through personal interviews of approximately one hour in length. The sample consisted of 15 women who volunteered to be part of this study, the majority of whom had participated in one of a number of divorce support groups co-facilitated by the researcher.

The intent of this study was to determine whether or not women who are working full time outside the home will initiate marital separation more often than women who did not work outside the home. The study also looked at women who worked part time outside the home prior to marital separation and what effect, if any, that had on initiating marital separation.

The researcher concluded that working full time is not a primary motivating factor for women to initiate marital separation. Fear of being alone and losing their life styles were more impactful in keeping women in negative marriages longer than desired even when they were in a position to be self-supporting. This study also provides information about women's relationships with their former spouses, feelings about the work they were doing (in or out of the home), and the effects of working on self-esteem.