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The purpose of this proposal has been to
ascertain whether working mothers in Pakistan are suffering from anxiety and
lower life satisfaction as compared to women working without the responsibility
of motherhood. Being part of a collectivist culture, mothers who willingly or
unwillingly are required to dually handle the responsibilities of motherhood,
home as well as their work have it relatively harder compared to other
non-parent working women. They are generally overlooked for the struggles they
experience. In spite of the fact that society has at long last acknowledged and
even began to accept mothers who earn, consistent weights of keeping up
employment and bringing up kids influence them and also their relationships.


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The study only covers the well developed
areas and cities of the country. Since much of the population is living below
poverty line and lacks literacy, they would not be able to respond to the
questionnaires properly. The sample chosen involves females coming from an
educated and traditional background. It could not facilitate uneducated mothers
that are often forced to work outside and take drastic measures to make ends
meet such as those women working as rickshaw drivers and house maids. Since
they have to deal with poverty as well, their anxiety level and life
satisfaction scale could radically differ from those mother selected in this
study. Moreover, this study does not make a comparison of working mothers with
non-working mothers so it does not determine whether the anxiety and life
satisfaction among these females is different in comparison. It also does not
state whether the anxiety and life satisfaction have a direct or indirect
relationship in this context.


After the research is approved, 10% of the
sample will be chosen and a short study will be conducted on them first this is
to see how feasible the study design, instruments as well as the procedure of
the research is.

Pilot Study

On the other hand, responses on the SWLS are
analyzed by the calculation of the score received on each question and adding
it. The questions have likert styled 7-point response scale and scores that
range from 5 to 35. A score of five to nine shows extreme dissatisfaction and
scores of thirty one to thirty five show extreme satisfaction.  The SWLS tool was researched to have great
internal consistency as well as high test-retest correlation.

The statistical analysis of the research
would be done through t-tests and their results would be computed using SPSS 22.
State anxiety and trait anxiety both have 20 questions each on the STAI
questionnaire that are different and scored respectively. It has a minimum
score of 20 and a maximum of 80 and every question has a significance of 4
point each. The scores obtained after summing up the points from every
questions show whether the anxiety range in low, moderate or severe. There are
questions that determine whether the respondent lacks anxiety or not. Questions
such as ‘I feel satisfied show that anxiety is missing whereas, statements such
as ‘I feel indecisive’ show if there is a possibility of anxiety being present.


Realizing ethical considerations is
imperative when carrying out research (Bell & Bryman, 2007). This research
would prioritize the protection, dignity, consent, privacy, confidentiality and
anonymity of its participants and ensure that it is carried out with
transparency and integrity while avoiding any sort of misleading information or


The work and occupations will be selected at
random and the sample participants will be chosen through convenience sampling.
Questionnaires will be handed to the participants and their results would be
computed. 240 participants would be taken as the research participants from
three various classifications of work including educational institutes,
corporations and individuals working from home. SWLS would be administered to
check the level of life satisfaction among working mothers and non-parent
working women and STAI would be used to assess their anxiety level. In order to
avoid any hurdle in data collection, permission letter would be received from
the Head of the Departments and it would be shown to the authorities of the
institutions so that the process of data collection can be carried out
smoothly. Written consent would be given to the participants and they would be
given brief description about the purpose of the data collection. They will be
assured that the data collected from them will only be used for research
purpose and will be kept confidential.


However, the tool does not measure particular
life aspects and the satisfaction individuals relate to them for instance their
income or family. Giving values to these aspects of life have been critiqued
because quantifying these life domains is not appropriate. The numbers
indicated and the scores receive from the statements have been researched to be
valid with other tools and wellbeing assessment (Pavot & Deiner 1993). SWLS
has indicated adequate substance as a hypothetically effective tool to perceive
variation in life satisfaction throughout clinical mediation programs. Moreover,
the tool has proven validity from psychopathology instruments. The tool is endorsed
as an accompaniment to measures that emphasis on emotional wellbeing since it measures
the conscious of an individual and the evaluative judgment of their life by
using personal criteria set by the individual (Pavot & Deiner 1993).

The Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) was
created by Ed Diener and his contemporaries in 1984 in order to measure life
satisfaction. Life satisfaction is one factor in the more general construct of
subjective wellbeing. Theory and research from field outside of rehabilitation
have suggested that subjective wellbeing has at least three components,
positive affective appraisal, negative affective appraisal and life
satisfaction. The SWLS has five statements that inquire about the overall
assessment of a respondent and their lives. Generally the cognitive appraisal
involved in measuring life satisfaction is believed to require a comparison by
individuals between the current status of their lives and self-defined
expectations regarding what they would like their lives to be. This comparison
may be in relation to a self-defined ideal or the expectations of other people.

State-trait anxiety inventory (STAI) will be
applied as well as life scale to assess the anxiety and life satisfaction of
working mothers. The STAI determines the presence of anxiety by measuring both
the state and trait anxiety of a person. The tool covers distinct self-report
scales to determine the two different concepts of anxiety that is state anxiety
(A-State) and trait anxiety (A-Trait). State anxiety is described as an
unlikable arousal of emotions when facing intimidating pressures or threats.
The cognitive consideration of threat is a condition necessary for the experiencing
this sensation. Trait anxiety reveals the presence of unchanging differences in
individuals when they tend to retort with state anxiety on the onset of a
threatening situation (Lazarus, 1991). The STAI A-Trait scale consists of 20
statements that inquire the general state of feelings an individual has,
whereas the A-State scale has 20 statements that inquire what the individual is
feeling at the particular moment. The STAI, itself, assesses anxiety but also
can be used to make discrimination when wondering whether a patient is
experiencing anxiety or depression. Results show that the STAI is a highly
reliable measure and that it has the ability to discriminate between high- and
low-stress situations (Metzger, 1976).


The sample size would be limited to 16
participants; 8 working mothers and 8 non-parent working women chosen from five
major cities of Pakistan mentioned which would make it a total of 48
participants from each chosen city and 240 in total. Convenience sampling
method would be employed to avoid bias and sustain the validity of the

Size and Method

Since the research is based in Pakistan so
the population selected would be the working mothers found in different work
places such educational institutes, corporations and those women working from
home in the country. The sample would be selected from major cities of Pakistan
of each province in order to avoid cultural discrepancies and make the results
more generalizable. A total of five cities would be selected; Karachi, Lahore,
Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta. The working mothers and non-parent working women
to be selected from work places would be chosen from each hierarchical level
starting from junior teacher to senior manager or director. Same goes for those
selected from corporations. Their occupation will range from that of a
receptionist to senior executive. Mothers and women in general working from
home usually do online jobs or have their own online business that ranges from
selling baked goods, arts and crafts or tailoring. The research will make sure
that an appropriate number of occupations are covered from each city.

Population and Sample

This study will incorporate survey method to
collect data using specially designed questionnaires and measuring scales for
anxiety and life satisfaction.

Research design


Life satisfaction can be referred to as
the contentment attained from the life circumstances a person is occupied with
(Akbari, 2012). One of the factors involved in accomplishing life satisfaction
for a working mother could be her capability of steadily managing her dual
roles as an employer and a

can be regarded as an ordinary response to a stressful stimulus. It is an uncanny feeling of concern that
could cause an individual to have a frenzied state of mind (Davison, 2008). Being
in an anxious mental and emotional state could prevent a working mother from
performing to her full potential. The presence of anxiety could prevent one
from achieving life satisfaction.

Definitions of Variables

satisfaction is significantly lower in working mothers compared to non-parent
working women.

Anxiety is
significantly more in working mothers compared to non-parent working women.


Eva Berger (2012) concluded that working
mothers in Germany in family? associated non?involvement and mothers working
part?time are not as much content than mothers working full?time. In contrast
to working mothers, working fathers state less disputes in balancing work and
life as well as lesser personal stress, and more marital, life and family
satisfaction. Findings also indicate that life satisfaction is influenced by
the blend of salaried work time and voluntary everyday responsibilities. In
general, being in charge of the majority of housekeeping decreases life
satisfaction for women employed full-time (Alvarez & Miles-Touya, 2015). Working
mothers who are single have been recorded to have considerably lesser life
satisfaction and contentment and higher financial stress compared to mothers in
a relationship (Bull & Mittelmark, 2009).

However, being a mother while employed
bestows upon a woman the duty of child rearing. This practice also alters the
way in which she is recognized in society and at her place of work. It requires
her to take additional leave options more than there are available which can
put her job surety in a vulnerable position (Poduval & Poduval, 2009). Although
maintaining equilibrium between family commitments and work can be a major cause
of stress for both the working father and mother, working mothers in job
positions that are conventionally male oriented encounter added anxiety as a
result of unsubstantiated expectations about their aptitude as employees. These
notions are embedded deep in stereotypes related to gender (Okimoto &
Heilman, 2012). Important collective and individual modifications are essential
to deal with such conditions. Working mothers, particularly those who have the
good providence to be competent enough to manage their work as well as their
kids, are able to relish the motivation that comes from having a career or livelihood.
They cultivate the aptitude of nurturing a valuable member of the society moreover
simultaneously being able to achieve self-reliance and financial autonomy.
Being employed complements the wholeness of being a woman together with her
motherhood (Poduval & Poduval, 2009). According to a research conducted by
Emmanuel Temitope (2015) in Nigeria, all working mothers go through one or the
other type of psychological disturbance varying from their degree of life
satisfaction, anxiety and stress, irrespective of how old they are. In
contradiction to the circumstances of the conclusions drawn in the research, it
was established that stress develops as a result of the amount of work working
mother have to deal with while life satisfaction and anxiety fluctuate from person
to person irrespective of their position. To put it briefly, perceived stress
and life satisfaction have an important correlation among working mothers whereas
anxiety and life satisfaction has a considerably adverse correlation. Moreover,
stress makes a noteworthy and leading effect on life satisfaction of working
mothers besides anxiety which also makes an important and key impact on life
satisfaction in Ekiti State (Temitope, 2015).

Some research suggests that working can
encourage and promote self-fulfillment in women which leads to higher life
satisfaction. It indicates that the low and high life satisfaction depends upon
the level of anxiety; the working women with low level of anxiety are higher on
life satisfaction contrary to the non-working women (Kaur, Panwar, Thind &
Farooqi, 2012). The conclusions drawn from the research point out that those
women who are working and married, have less anxiety and more life satisfaction
as compared to the non-working married women. They seem to identify their life
as inspiring and stable. They feel contented in the state of life they are in
(Kaur, Panwar, Thind & Farooqi, 2012). Findings from a research carried out
by Arshad, Gul and Mehmood (2015) indicate that there was significant
difference between working and nonworking women regarding their positive

Literature Review

This paper aims to highlight whether the above mentioned
responsibilities influence the lifestyle and mental wellbeing of working
mothers in Pakistan in the form of anxiety and deteriorating life satisfaction.
The research will include all sorts of working mothers whether they are the
sole breadwinners of their family or not. In collectivist cultures, women have
it relatively harder since their partners and/or extended families often
appreciate their working only if their house management skills are up to the
mark. They are often underappreciated for the struggles they encounter.
Although society has finally accepted and even started to appreciate and demand
female assistance in the bread winner role, constant pressures of maintaining
job and raising children affects them as well as their relationships (Temitope,

Rationale/ Objective

In recent times, many societies around the world have
seen an upsurge in the number of working mothers. Some 50 decades ago from now,
having mothers as the breadwinners of the household was uncommon (Glynn, 2014).
However, it has gradually become commonplace. Mothers are no longer confined to
household tasks, child rearing and procreation. A considerable number of women
engage in housekeeping, family nurturing as well as being a full-time or
part-time employee. This is more or less likely to affect their mental
wellbeing (Adhikari, 2012). Working mothers are quite realistically one of the
most contributing members of society as they manage not only their work life
but also their home where they have the task of raising the future of tomorrow.
Being able to pursue higher education, some working mothers have taken up top hierarchical
roles in several economic sectors. Performing dual roles as the breadwinner as
well as a nurturer can be very demanding. They are expected to perform well at
their jobs as well as maintain their family (Temitope, 2015).

Anxiety and Life
Satisfaction among Working Mothers









The society of Pakistan has long been
one where the role of women has been credited and portrayed essentially as that
of a nurturer and home maker. However, being a developing nation it has also
bore women working dual roles of a mother as well as a breadwinner for the
family in a fundamentally conservative and misogynist society. These societal
traits are bound to create challenges and inconvenience to those working women who
willingly or unwillingly are challenging the norms by going out and working. It
can come down in the form of criticism from family, managing dilemmas or other
issues that can lead to anxiety in a person. This study aims to scrutinize
whether working mothers in Pakistan are struggling with anxiety and to see if
they are low on life satisfaction using the State-trait anxiety inventory
(STAI) and Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). The sample would be chosen from
various vocational areas including educational institutes, corporations and
mothers working from home from major cities of Pakistan to cover different
aspects of work life of mothers.






Table of Contents
Objective. 4
Review.. 4
Hypothesis. 6
of Variables. 7
Methodology. 7
design. 7
and Sample. 7
Instruments. 8
Procedure. 10
considerations. 10
Analysis. 10
Study. 11
Limitations. 11
Conclusion. 12







Forman Christian
College University

Submission date:

Instructor: Ayesha



Mahnoor Ijaz








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