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Family, religion, and work among Arab American women

Abstract

Using data from a national survey of 501 Arab American women, this study examines the extent to which family behavior mediates the influence of religion on women's labor force activity. Prior research on families has largely overlooked the role of religion in influencing women's labor force decisions, particularly at different stages of the life cycle. The analysis begins to address this gap by examining whether religious affiliation and religiosity have direct relationships to women's work behaviors, or whether they primarily operate through family behaviors at different phases of the life course. The results show that religiosity exerts a negative influence on women's labor force participation, but only when children are present in the home. Among women with no children, religiosity has no effect on employment.

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