Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Workforce Education and Development

First Advisor

Sims, Cynthia


The purpose of this study was to explore working single mothers’ work-life balance in order to better understand how employers can assist them. Role theory, role conflict theory, and spillover theory were utilized to examine how working single mothers experience work-life balance and how they perceive it. In this study, the researcher sought to discover, analyze, and report work-life balance experiences of working single mothers through extended narrative accounts, which answer the following research questions: 1. In what ways do working single mothers strive to attain work-life balance? 2. What challenges do working single mothers encounter that affect their ability to obtain work-life balance? 3. How do working single mothers believe their employers’ policies, practices, and attitudes impact their ability to balance work and family responsibilities? Narrative inquiry was the best research approach for this study because it allowed the individuals to narrate their own stories. The methods of collecting data for this study consisted of a basic demographic questionnaire and in-depth, semi-structured interviews. The data analysis revealed four main themes and several subthemes highlighting the strategies, challenges, and employers’ contributions to the work-life balance of working single mothers.




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