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From the perspective of the social functioning of a family, single mothers are amongst the most vulnerable social groups in terms of interconnected economic, social and psychological burdens (Van Lancker, Ghysels, & Cantillon, 2015). Women in the situation of lone motherhood are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of meeting too many requirements and an excess of daily tasks. The aim of the study was to clarify whether resilience as an attribute and resilient coping can be a significant resource of their job satisfaction, taking into account the role of single motherhood as a difficult situation. The study involved 435 mothers, among whom 204 (47%) were in a formal or informal relationship, and 231 (53%) were lone mothers. For the measurement of resilient coping, the Brief Resilience Coping Scale – BRCS was used (Piórowska, Basińska, Piórowski, & Janicka, 2017), trait resilience was measured by the Resiliency Assessment Scale (SPP-25) (Ogińska-Bulik & Juczyński, 2008) and job satisfaction was rated by The Satisfaction with Job Scale (Zalewska, 2003b). The analysis showed no significant differences between mothers in terms of the level of job satisfaction, resilient coping and resilience as an attribute – with the exception of one dimension, openness to new experiences and sense of humour, which in the group of lone mothers scored significantly lower than in the group of mothers in relationships. The results also showed a significant differentiating role of marital status and resilient coping as well as trait resilience on job satisfaction.
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The Resilience of Mothers and Their Job Satisfaction:
The Differentiating Role of Single Motherhood
Izabela Grzankowska1, Małgorzata Basińska1, Elżbieta Napora2
1 Kazimierz Wielki University, Bydgoszcz, Poland
2 Jan Długosz University, Częstochowa, Poland
Corresponding author: Izabela Grzankowska (Instytut Psychologii UKW, ul. Staa 1, 85–867 Bydgoszcz, Poland.
E-mail: i.grzankowska@ukw.edu.pl)
Handling editor: Tomasz Besta (University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland)
Received: 31 July 2017•Accepted: 4 June 2018•Published: 6 August 2018
Citation: Grzankowska, I., Basińska, M., & Napora, E. (2018). e resilience of mothers and their job satisfaction:
e dierentiating role of single motherhood. Social Psychological Bulletin, 13(2), Article e27156. https://doi.
org/10.5964/spb.v13i2.27156
Abstract
From the perspective of the social functioning of a family, single mothers are amongst the
most vulnerable social groups in terms of interconnected economic, social and psychological
burdens (Van Lancker, Ghysels, & Cantillon, 2015). Women in the situation of lone mother-
hood are particularly vulnerable to the adverse eects of meeting too many requirements and
an excess of daily tasks. e aim of the study was to clarify whether resilience as an attribute
and resilient coping can be a signicant resource of their job satisfaction, taking into account
the role of single motherhood as a dicult situation. e study involved 435 mothers, among
whom 204 (47%) were in a formal or informal relationship, and 231 (53%) were lone moth-
ers. For the measurement of resilient coping, the Brief Resilience Coping Scale – BRCS was
used (Piórowska, Basińska, Piórowski, & Janicka, 2017), trait resilience was measured by the
Resiliency Assessment Scale (SPP-25) (Ogińska-Bulik & Juczyński, 2008) and job satisfaction
was rated by e Satisfaction with Job Scale (Zalewska, 2003b). e analysis showed no sig-
nicant dierences between mothers in terms of the level of job satisfaction, resilient coping
and resilience as an attribute – with the exception of one dimension, openness to new experi-
ences and sense of humour, which in the group of lone mothers scored signicantly lower than
in the group of mothers in relationships. e results also showed a signicant dierentiat-
ing role of marital status and resilient coping as well as trait resilience on job satisfaction.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution
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Research Article
The Resilience of Mothers and Their Job Satisfaction2
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Keywords
resilience, resilient coping, job satisfaction, lone motherhood
From the perspective of the social functioning of a family, single mothers are among the
most vulnerable social groups in terms of interconnected economic, social and psychologi-
cal burdens that aect them every day. ey oen survive on the verge of economic pov-
erty while bearing the burden of lone parenthood, which causes a high level of stress (Van
Lancker et al., 2015). is might be partially alleviated by social benets, as set out in social
policy objectives, but will not be completely counteracted since incomes of single mothers
remain signicantly lower in comparison to couples raising children.
Undertaking family and work-related roles has become an important area of inter-
est for researchers exploring this issue from the perspective of one’s individual resources.
ese are seen as signicant in explaining how these roles are performed, particularly in
families of single mothers who experience family worries, work-related diculties and
economic burdens. e latter create subsequent hardships through a negative impact on
family processes (Duxbury & Higgins, 2001; Duxbury, Higgins, & Lee, 1994). Dicult
family life of a single mother and numerous additional responsibilities can lead to a de-
crease in satisfaction with life in general as well as to redundancy in fullment in her pro-
fessional life (Argyle, 2004; Schultz & Schultz, 2012; Zalewska, 2003a).
Individual and environmental resources that increase ones resilience to stressful events
may serve a protective function in their life (Carson, Butcher, & Mineka, 2003; Heszen,
2013; Hobfoll, 2006; Janicka, 2015). ey include both behaviours and circumstances that
reduce the likelihood of adverse consequences of stress. Protective factors include individ-
ual and family resources and skills that directly aect one’s mental functioning by protect-
ing against stressful factors. ey can serve as mediators by changing, but not eliminating,
relationships between risks and their consequences (Basińska, 2015; Białecka-Pikul, 2011;
Grzankowska & Minda, 2015; Murry, Bynum, Brody, Willert, & Stephens, 2001). Personal
resources are dened as anything (a matter, an energy, information) that can be used by
an individual to meet their immediate needs or to achieve their long term goals (Hobfoll,
2006; Mudyń, 2003; Nadolska & Sęk, 2007; Ostaszewski, 2005).
Resilience as a theoretical construct was introduced to scientic research in the 1980s.
eoretical foundations for understanding resilience arose from longitudinal studies on
personality traits in adolescents (Gąsior, Chodkiewicz, & Cechowski, 2016; Ogińska-Bulik
& Juczyński, 2008). Resilience is dened in two respects: (1) as a personality attribute,
a relatively stable disposition, which determines adaptability to changing life require-
ments (Block & Block, 1980; Grzankowska & Ślesińska-Sowińska, 2016; Ogińska-Bulik &
Juczyński, 2010) and (2) as a process of adaptive capacity to overcome negative life events
(Juczyński & Ogińska-Bulik, 2011; Piórowska et al., 2017). Resilience is relatively stable
and evolves throughout one’s life. It forms the grounds for coping with daily life and its
challenges (Nadolska & Sęk, 2007). Resilience could be understood as a capacity to per-
Grzankowska, Basińska, & Napora3
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form and manage everyday tasks in uncertain and oen stressful circumstances (Juczyński
& Ogińska-Bulik, 2011; Uchnast, 1997). It can exert motivation and strength to face and
overcome obstacles by employing own resources (Luthar, Cicchetti, & Becker, 2000; Na-
dolska & Sęk, 2007; Piórowska et al., 2017). Luthar et al. (2000) consider resilience as a
dynamic adaptation process that enables and facilitates adjustment and implementation
of remedial strategies in the face of imminent adversity. erefore, the process of resilient
coping may arise only when an individual, rstly, is confronted with an adverse situation
and, secondly, has a capacity to use resources that allow for its remedy (Luthar et al., 2000;
Nadolska & Sęk, 2007).
us, resilience as an attribute and as a process should not be considered as synony-
mous phenomena. eir determinants, occurrence and function are signicantly dierent
(Nadolska & Sęk, 2007; Piórowska et al., 2017; Turkiewicz-Maligranda, 2014). Neverthe-
less, their common denominator is the perception of resilience as a capacity allowing
individuals to perform at optimum levels of eciency and to recover despite failures and
encountered diculties (Heszen, 2013).
An individual has a chance to overcome a stressful or extreme situation and to coun-
teract its adverse eects when exerting resilience (Mudyń, 2003). Resilience as a resource
can be dened as a set of skills leading to eective coping with traumatic situations as well
as everyday obstacles. Predominantly, it is the ability to utilise ones own personal resources
in a exible and creative way as well as to withstand negative emotions (Sęk, 2008). In situ-
ations involving traumatic events, resilience exerts the will for life and exceptional resist-
ance and guards against passiveness and abandonment (Bishop, 2000; Connor & Davidson,
2003; Juczyński & Ogińska-Bulik, 2011).
Resilience as an attribute is shaped by ones life context and can be considered as a trait
that may improve and develop over time (Ostaszewski, 2005). Its level is varied and de-
pends on age, gender, origin and life circumstances (Connor & Davidson, 2003). It is un-
derstood that resilient people show a higher level of social skills, demonstrated mainly in
their communication skills, fullling relationships with others or empathy shaped predom-
inantly in the family context (Compas et al., 2014). Positive eects of resilient coping are:
high levels of internal tranquillity and optimism, greater curiosity for the world, increased
life energy and openness to new experiences (Bishop, 2000; Fredrickson, 2001; Juczyński &
Ogińska-Bulik, 2011).
Resilience, as an attribute and as a process, is employed by individuals in various life
situations. Scientic research conducted on social workers conrms the validity of recog-
nising resilience (as an attribute) as an important resource protecting them against burn-
out. Resilience (as a process) inuences one’s perception of stress level and measures un-
dertaken against it, including job demands and work-related stress (Kaczmarek & Aleszc-
zyk, 2013; Ogińska-Bulik & Juczyński, 2011). erefore, it can be expected that resilience
as a disposition of personality as well as that exerted through the coping process would be
signicant to the functioning of mothers when fullling family and work roles, and may
play an essential part inuencing job satisfaction.
The Resilience of Mothers and Their Job Satisfaction4
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Professional work is an important element of the social functioning of adults. Job sat-
isfaction is linked to professional activity (Zalewska, 2003a) and may enhance ones well-
being and fullment. It may, however, be associated with a feeling of being overburdened
caused by the demand to combine professional and family roles (Kurpiel & Walęcka-
Matyja, 2014). When evaluating job satisfaction, one needs to consider the conicting
aspects of work performance with other important functions, including family ones (Casey
& Pitt-Catsouphes, 1994; Grandey, Cordeiro, & Crouter, 2005). is particularly concerns
working mothers undertaking the so-called double function pattern and involves experi-
encing a conict between professional and family roles, articulated to a greater extent by
single working mothers than those living in conjugal families (Duxbury & Higgins, 2001).
Reconciliation of parental and professional responsibilities, with no support form a part-
ner, can be demanding and burdensome (McManus, Korabik, Rosin, & Kelloway, 2002;
Peeters, Montgomery, Bakker, & Schaufeli, 2005).
Existing research reveals that women satised with their job are more likely to cope
with setbacks by seeking help, and that work is of greater subjective importance to them
(Napora, Andruszkiewicz, & Basińska, 2018). Furthermore, previous research indicates a
connection between job satisfaction and other factors inuencing their functioning in the
family (Mróz & Kaleta, 2015). Family support as well as length, type and model of marital
relationship are the most vital factors (Basińska, 2013; Lachowska, 2008). is particularly
relates to single mothers as they account for the overwhelming majority of single-parent
families: in western societies, single motherhood occurs nearly 10 times more oen than
single fatherhood (Napora, Kozerska, & Schneider, 2014). In addition, the permanent ab-
sence of one parent causes the other to undertake all responsibilities and to reconcile them
with a high level of professional duties. at is oen a subject of informal social judgement,
where societal expectations of working professional women somewhat demand greater
career advancements and equally intensive, hands-on parenthood (Matysiak-Błaszczyk &
Włodarczyk, 2004; Treas, van der Lippe, & Tai, 2011).
Studies on single mothers and those in conjugal families highlight childcare as the
key stress factor at home, articulated especially by single mothers on low incomes (Stav-
rova & Fetchenhauer, 2015). Research also reveals that single mothers spend an equal
amount of time with their families as married ones, yet do not experience increased
exhaustion (Duxbury et al., 1994; Duxbury & Higgins, 2001). Studies on single and co-
habiting mothers reveal that, regardless of family structure, both groups of women func-
tion similarly at work. However, single mothers were more likely to express symptoms of
depression, reduced satisfaction with life and lower self-esteem in comparison to married
mothers (Cairney, Boyle, Oord, & Racine, 2003; Lansford, Ceballo, Abbey, & Stewart,
2001). ey were also less likely to seek help when addressing work-related stress (Napora
et al., 2018).
Relationships with other family members as well as having children can undoubtedly
be a signicant source of empowerment for mothers when fullling their professional
Grzankowska, Basińska, & Napora5
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roles. us, worth analysing are personality traits allowing for accomplishment of work
roles, including resilience as an attribute and resilient coping with adversities. ere are
limited notations on single mothers’ ability to cope at work despite adverse home situation
(Brody & Flor, 1997; Murry & Brody, 1999; Murry et al., 2001; Stavrova & Fetchenhauer,
2015) in comparison to numerous attempts to analyse the negative eects of single mother-
hood (Greeneld & Marks, 2006; Jeżewska, 2001).
e aim of this study was to explore whether resilience as an attribute and resilient
coping available to mothers are signicant to their job satisfaction, when taking into ac-
count implications of single motherhood and its adverse impact. e following hypotheses
were tested for the purpose of this study:
H1: Single and cohabiting mothers dier signicantly in terms of their job satisfaction,
ability to cope with adversities and intensity of resilience as an attribute.
H2: Resilience signicantly dierentiates between both studied groups in terms of
job satisfaction and these dissimilarities in single mothers dier from mothers in rela-
tionships.
Method
Participants
435 mothers participated in the study, including 204 (47%) that were in conventional (n =
179) or informal relationships (n = 25), and 231 (53%) that were single mothers (unmar-
ried (n = 63), widows (n = 22), divorced (n = 112), or separated (n = 34)). e average age
of respondents was 36.14 years (SDage = 7.58; Minage = 20, Maxage = 57); groups of single
mothers and those in relationship was similar in terms of age (t(434) = -.47, p = .63) and
number of children (single mothers: Mchildren = 1.61; SDchildren = 0.81, mothers living in rela-
tionships: Mchildren = 0.70). e largest number of children in the family was ve, although
one child per family was the most common. Regardless of their life situation, all mothers
spent a comparable amount of time with their children during the day (single mothers:
Mhours = 6.38; SDhours = 4.76, mothers in relationships: Mhours = 6.13; SDhours = 5.51).
Procedure
ere was a deliberate selection of mothers based on two criteria: (1) remaining in a rela-
tionship or single motherhood as well as (2) bearing at least one child under the age of 18.
e study was carried out using the snowball sampling method amongst women living in
the Kuyavian-Pomeranian, Masovian, Warmian-Masurian, Pomeranian, Silesian and Łódź
Voivodeships between March and September 2016. Participants received a set of question-
naires with the relevant instructions. e research was conducted anonymously, individu-
ally and without time limitation, in accordance with the ethical standards of scientic
research.
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Measures1
Coping resilience in adverse situations was measured by the Brief Resilient Coping Scale
(Piórowska et al., 2017) created by V. G. Sinclair and K. A. Wallston (2004) and used to
measure resilience as a process in adults. e Resilience Assessment Scale (SPP-25) by
Ogińska-Bulik and Juczyński (2008) was used to measure resilience as an attribute. e
satisfaction level was assessed using the Satisfaction with Job Scale (Zalewska, 2003b). A
questionnaire form of own design was used to describe the studied group in terms of de-
mographic characteristics and contained some questions regarding length of service and
nancial situation.
Results
Dierences and Similarities Between Studied Mothers
In most studied domains, the single and cohabitant mothers proved to be similar. A signi-
cant dierence was noted only on one dimension of resilience – openness to new experi-
ences and sense of humour (2nd dimension of resilience as an attribute). e mothers in
relationships were more open to new experiences and had a greater sense of humour in
comparison to the single mothers (z= -2.55, p = .01).
Resilience as an Attribute and Job Satisfaction
e relation between resiliency as an attribute and job satisfaction was statistically signi-
cant in both groups (r = .44; p = .001 among the single mothers, and r = .29; p = .001 in the
group of mothers in relationships). A tendency emerged suggesting that this relation was
stronger in the group of single mothers (z = 1.85, p = .06).
ree groups of women were identied based on intensity of resilience as an attribute:
(1) mothers with low resilience (1–4 sten; n = 128; 30%), (2) mothers with moderate re-
silience (5–6 sten; n = 158; 36%) and (3) mothers with high resilience (7–10 sten; n =148;
31%). Civil status alone (single mothers versus those in a relationship) was not linked to
job satisfaction. A main eect of resiliency as an attribute was found (F(2, 427) = 26.91,
p <.001; η2 = .112). Moreover, the interaction eect between marital status and resilience
as an attribute proved to be statistically signicant (F(2, 427) = 3.06, p = .048) with only a
small eect size (η2 = .01) (see Figure 1). is model explained 12% of variance of job satis-
faction (corrected R2 = .12).
We performed Bonferroni post-hoc analyses to explore dierences between groups
included in the study. It revealed that single mothers with high resiliency declared the
highest job satisfaction (M = 25.14). Job satisfaction of this group was signicantly dier-
1 Detailed description of psychometric characteristics of applied variable measurement tools is given in
Appendix 1.
Grzankowska, Basińska, & Napora7
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ent from the results of the rest of the single mothers and those with low resiliency and cur-
rently in relationships. Mothers with high resiliency and in relationships were also char-
acterised by one of the highest levels of job satisfaction (M = 23.80), and this result was
signicantly dierent from job satisfaction of mothers with low resiliency in both groups
(M = 17.16 and M = 19.71 for single mothers and mothers in a relationship regardless of
their marital status, respectively).
Resilient Coping with Dicult Situations and Job Satisfaction
e link between resiliently coping with stress and job satisfaction was statistically signi-
cant in both groups of mothers (r = .419; p = .001 and r = .207; p = .003 for single mothers
and mothers in relationships, respectively). is relation was stronger in the group of sin-
gle mothers (z = 1.85, p = .01). ereaer, participants were divided into groups according
to the intensity of their resilient coping based on the mean results and standard deviation
(M+/- 1/2 SD)2. is led to identifying the following: (1) rst group, with a lower resilient
coping (n = 99, 23%); (2) second group, with a moderate resilient coping (n = 184, 42%)
and (3) third group, with a higher resilient coping (n = 151, 35%).
Both main eects of marital status (single and cohabiting mothers) and resilience as a
remedy process were signicant (F(2, 202) = 3.96, p = .047; η2 = .01; and F(2, 229) = 15.41,
p < .001; η2 = .02, respectively). e marital status × resilient coping interaction was sig-
nicant as well (F(2, 427) = 4.67, p = .01), although the eect size was low (η2 = .02). is
2 For e Resilience Assessment Scale (SPP-25) by Ogińska-Bulik and Juczyński (2008) no criteria for assessing low
and high resilience have been dened; therefore statistical criterion was used.
single moth ers
mothers in the relationships
123
Low Medium High
Intensity of Re silience as a Fe ature
Overall Re sult
14
16
18
20
22
24
26
28
noitcafsitaS boJ
Figure 1. Marital status and the resilience as a feature versus the single mothers job satisfaction (n =
204) and the mothers remaining in a relationship job satisfaction (n = 231).
The Resilience of Mothers and Their Job Satisfaction8
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model allowed 8% of variance of job satisfaction to be explained (corrected R2 = .08). Per-
formed Bonferroni post-hoc analyses revealed that the highest job satisfaction (M = 23.85)
was found in single women with high resiliency and they were signicantly dierent solely
from the single mothers with lower resilient coping. e mothers with the highest resil-
iency in relationships were also characterised by one of the highest levels of job satisfaction
(M = 23.59). e lowest level of job satisfaction was noticeable among the single mothers
with the lowest resiliency (M = 16.36) who were signicantly dierent from the rest of
women regardless of their marital status.
Discussion
e aim of this research was to clarify whether resilience as an attribute and resiliently cop-
ing with dicult situations in mothers are signicant resources for their job satisfaction,
considering single motherhood as a dicult situation. e outcomes of our research ena-
bled us to respond to the formulated research hypotheses.
e rst hypothesis stating a signicant dierence in job satisfaction, resiliently cop-
ing with dicult situations and resilience as an attribute between single mothers and
mothers living in relationships, was partially conrmed. e research outcomes indicated
that study participants were relatively similar in terms of these attributes, regardless of
their marital status. e only signicant dierence was noted in relation to one dimension
of resilience as an attribute, i.e., openness to new experiences and sense of humour. Con-
siderably lower scores were obtained by single mothers in comparison to cohabiting ones.
single moth ers
mothers in the relationships
123
Low Medium High
Resilient Coping
12
14
16
18
20
22
24
26
28
noitcafsitaS boJ
Figure 2. Marital status and resilient coping versus single mothers’ job satisfaction (n = 204) and
mothers in a relationship job satisfaction (n = 231).
Grzankowska, Basińska, & Napora9
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Basińska (2014) emphasizes the inuence of factors such as situational context and cur-
rent negative experiences on responders’ participation and answers. Consequently, nega-
tive life events that had occurred prior to the study may have caused changes in observed
openness to new experiences. Considering resilience as the ability to recover from adverse
experiences and circumstances (Ogińska-Bulik, 2014), this result implies the signicant
burden of daily challenges on single mothers and its negative impact on their experiences.
Previous research has revealed a strong link between life events and depression among
single mothers in comparison to married ones (Cairney et al., 2003). erefore, lower
openness to new experiences of single mothers might be construed as their attempt to
reduce hardships and withstand risks of new challenges and changes. Moreover, it may
express a self-regulatory tendency of single mothers, who are already required to meet
immense expectations. is explanation is consistent with understanding resilience as a
manifestation of personality regulatory processes (Uchnast, 1997). e need for stabil-
ity or predictability appears evident in the group of mothers who juggle the demands of
maternity and career without help from a supportive partner. us, their withstanding
approach may be understood as an attempt to nd work-life balance through reducing
challenges and taking control of their lives (Oleś & Drat-Ruszczak, 2008). It is dicult to
clearly determine whether reduced openness is a manifestation of their exibility in nd-
ing eective remedies in a dicult situation (Cheng, 2001; Ogińska-Bulik & Juczyński,
2008) or an attempt to avoid emotions and uncertainties resulting from negative evalua-
tion of life experiences (McCrae & Costa, 2005).
However, a parallel diculty to distance themselves from reality using humour might
suggest a post traumatic response (Connor, 2006). e overall level of resilience of single
mothers and their ability to cope with life events proves to be similar to mothers in rela-
tionships with regards to both resilient coping and resilience as an attribute. eir job sat-
isfaction is also comparable to that of cohabiting mothers. us, it can be concluded that,
regardless of life circumstances, women hold a similar level of personal resources, which
points to their external nature. e inuences on resources associated with resilience and
job satisfaction are likely to be multifactorial, and include experiences from earlier in life,
for example, childhood (Compas et al., 2014; Heszen & Sęk, 2007; Ostaszewski, 2005).
erefore, an assumption that single motherhood is an important factor in explaining
dierences in resilience and job satisfaction among women proved to be only partially
supported.
e second hypothesis presuming intensity of resilience as a factor signicantly dif-
ferentiating job satisfaction of women with regards to their marital status was conrmed.
Although the interactions between marital status and women’s resilient coping with di-
culties and resilience as an attribute was statistically signicant, the eect sizes were rather
low. e research outcomes encouraged us to conclude that both resilient coping and re-
silience as an attribute were more important to job satisfaction for single mothers than for
those in relationships. us, it could be assumed that these resources are broadly employed
by single mothers in the work context. What is more, it could be hypothesised that resil-
The Resilience of Mothers and Their Job Satisfaction10
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iently coping with diculties plays a greater role in gaining job satisfaction than resilience
as a feature. It may be consequential to the expectation of being independent when dealing
with problems and exerting self-ecacy as less support is available to them (in comparison
to mothers in relationships) (Cairney et al., 2003).
It is worth noting that hardiness is understood as a personality basis for resilience,
that is, the ability to focus on fullling tasks and not on the self-construct (Russel & Karol,
1994). erefore, it is likely that greater job satisfaction of single mothers requires employ-
ing a broader social perspective. For example, help received from a supportive partner
allows women to self-care. is may explain why resilience of cohabiting mothers is not
as strongly related to their job satisfaction as that of single mothers. e social situation of
surveyed women is a factor that could play an important role in explaining the relationship
between resilience and job satisfaction. erefore, resilience as a resource should be con-
sidered an important factor from the perspective of social psychology. Resilience takes part
in the adaptation of individuals to social requirements, and is an especially vital part of
coping for people from the most vulnerable social groups. Also, it is known that high re-
silience as a personal resource could increase mothers’ job satisfaction and permits greater
work retention (Ciabattari, 2005).
Nadolska and Sęk (2007) highlight that resilience emerges as a result of dicult ex-
periences or threats, which explains its high level among single mothers. us, the level
of resilience in lone mothers may possibly be explained by individual dierences, rather
than the situation itself. Nevertheless, lower resilience and resilient coping together with
hardships of single motherhood correlate with a greater diculty in achieving job satisfac-
tion by women. is is consistent with previous analyses that underline some challenges in
mobilising one’s own coping potential and undertaking actions. ese challenges are espe-
cially present among people with a low resilience (Iskra & Klinkosz, 2013). It is dicult to
gain a sense of achievement without engaging in activities directed to full ones goals. is
may also apply to job satisfaction. Less resilient individuals might be inclined to utilise
non-adaptive coping strategies, which would lead them to feel overburdened and reduce
their job satisfaction (Chojnacka-Szawłowska, 2009; Górska, 2004). Lower resilience is
also negatively associated with social competences (Compas et al., 2014), and consequently
with poorer working relationships, including a higher chance of conicts or diculties in
cooperation. Finally, it is linked to lower overall resistance to social stressors in the work-
place (Białas & Litwin, 2013; Borowska-Pietrzak, 2014; Łaguna, 2012; Lipińska-Grobelny &
Głowacka, 2009; Wołowska, 2013). Each of these factors could contribute to a decrease in
job satisfaction. Lower job satisfaction among women burdened by an immense workload
and family duties might engage in a vicious circle, which can turn into a spiral of loss. is
could consequently be linked to increased discomfort in many areas of life (Carson et al.,
2003; Ogińska-Bulik, 2001). Being able to rely on resources other than personal ones is an
important safeguarding factor. erefore, it might be concluded that relationship status
brings about psychological consequences that may be perceived as a source of important
resources for a working mother.
Grzankowska, Basińska, & Napora11
Social Psychological Bulletin | 2569-653X
https://doi.org/10.5964/spb.v13i2.27156
Conclusions
Both resilient coping and resilience as an attribute are more strongly related to job satisfac-
tion among single mothers than among cohabiting ones. It is likely that when coping with
life challenges, single mothers rely on their personal resources to a greater extent in com-
parison to mothers in relationships who can receive support from a partner3. Lower job
satisfaction was observed in a group of single mothers with a low level of resilience. us,
weak personal coping resources among people from disadvantaged social groups could be
related to lower quality of life.
Authors’ Contribution
Izabela Grzankowska – research conducting, preparing the part of theoretical basis of the
work, analysing the results in the light of a theory and current researches, preparing the
work for printing (35%).
Elżbieta Napora – the concept author; research conducting, preparing the part of theo-
retical basis of the work (35%).
Małgorzata A. Basińska – the concept author; the research model construction, statis-
tical data analysis (30%).
Funding
e authors have no funding to report.
Competing Interests
e authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Acknowledgements
e authors have no support to report.
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Appendix 1
The Psychometric Characteristics of the Measurement Tools
e Brief Resilient Coping Scale (Piórowska et al., 2017) is comprised of 4 statements, to
which a respondent replies using a ve-point scale. e results range between 4 and 20
points. e scale is a reliable and accurate method; the Cronbach’s α was .73 in the studied
group. e intensity of resilient coping corresponded with higher points on the scale.
e Resilience Assessment Scale (SPP-25) by N. Ogińska-Bulik and Z. Juczyński (2008)
nds the participant’s degree of agreement with a set of 25 statements using a Likert-type
ve-point scale (from 0 – denitely not to 4 – denitely yes). e scale measures the inten-
sity of resilience and its ve factors: perseverance and determination in action; openness
to new experiences and sense of humour; personal competences to cope with adverse situ-
ations and a resistance to negative feelings; resistance to failures and perception of life as
a challenge as well as optimistic outlook on life and encouragement to confront dicult
situations. e results are calculated for the total value of resilience and for its individual
dimensions. e intensity of resilience and its components increases with the amount of
points scored on the test. e Cronbach’s coecient α was .89 for the entire scale (Ogińska-
Bulik & Juczyński, 2008).
e Satisfaction with Job Scale (Zalewska, 2003b) is a tool composed of ve items and
measures general, subjective job satisfaction in its cognitive aspect. e participants re-
spond to the statements on a seven-point scale (where 1 means I totally disagree, and 7 – I
The Resilience of Mothers and Their Job Satisfaction18
Social Psychological Bulletin | 2569-653X
https://doi.org/10.5964/spb.v13i2.27156
totally agree). e results range between 5 and 35 points. e psychometric value of the
scale in the studied group was high, Chronbach’s α = .88.
Demographic characteristics of the studied group contained data on age, education,
residence, number of children, marital status and nature of the relationship with a partner
(single mothers: unmarried, divorced, widowed, mothers in relationships: married, in infor-
mal relationship).
Appendix 2
Differences Between Mothers in Terms of the Analysed Variables
Table A1
e Signicance of Dierences Between Single Mothers and Mothers Remaining in a Relationship
(df = 433).
Analysed variables
Single mothers
(n = 231)
Mothers remaining in a
relationship
(n = 204)
t/z pM SD MSD
Job satisfaction 21.18 07.61 22.16 06.80 -1.40t.16
Resilient coping 14.23 02.94 14.44 02.64 -0.78t.43
General resiliency 70.24 16.00 72.50 12.79 -1.30z.19
I perseverance and determination in
activity
14.83 03.64 15.40 03.03 -1.69z.09
II openness to new experiences and a
sense of humour
14.63 03.53 15.50 02.68 -2.55z.01
III personal competences to cope and
negative emotions tolerance
13.74 03.53 13.99 02.98 -0.43z.67
IV failure tolerance and treating life as a
challenge
14.08 03.51 14.53 02.89 -0.71z.47
V optimistic attitude towards life and an
ability to mobilize itself
13.03 03.79 13.29 03.22 -0.19z.85
tt-value; zz-value.
Appendix 3
Limitations and Suggestions for Further Research
Due to the relatively small scope and imbalance in numbers of participants in a given
group, an analysis of dierences between both groups was not performed. It is worth add-
ing this analysis in further investigations as well as examining the role of the quality of
prior relationships.
19
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Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information (ZPID),
Trier, Germany. https://www.leibniz-psychology.org
Grzankowska, Basińska, & Napora
To answer the question of how to counteract the over-use of resources and reduce bur-
dens arising from single motherhood among working women, we need further research.
A broader study that would include people from mothers’ social network (such as parents,
friends and other relatives) might indicate the importance of presence of and support from
other people (Reivich & Shatte, 2003). e area of personal resources, which are strength-
ened through a supportive relationship with a partner, seems to also be an important factor
to analyse. As single mothers lack the opportunity to seek support from a partner, they
could be considered a particularly vulnerable group. is is especially the case with regards
to self-esteem, which is seen as a predictor of seeking social support in dicult situations
(Eris & Ikiz, 2013; Ogińska-Bulik, 2001).
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