This paper explores the experiences and perceptions of the adult children of psychotherapists. Personal semi-structured, hour long in-depth interviews were conducted with nine adult children of psychotherapists. This research found three key themes having to do with perceived traits of psychotherapists, their authority of psychotherapists within the home, and the meanings of mental health within the family. The research found that the adult children of psychotherapists perceive that the occupational traits enter the family by way of the therapist-parent having skills in giving advice, listening, and communication. The research also found that the psychotherapist occupation creates ambiguity in parental authority, resulting in adult children describing both a fear of being therapized and a perception of the therapist-parent as a model. Finally the research found that adult children pointed to an open discussion of mental health in the household because of their parent’s occupation, using parents as personal therapists, but also having high expectations for mental health. This research introduces the question of the effects of parental occupation on their adult children’s experiences and perceptions. By doing so, this research contributes to the sociological field of study of work-family intersections it also contributes to research on socialization processes.
The bulk of fertility research—or research surrounding which factors influence women’s decisions to have children—was conducted in the mid-twentieth century, when women joined the labor force at unprecedented rates and drastically altered the nature of the United States economy. Very little research has been conducted since. This study therefore aims to generate a contemporary fertility model in order to determine how the factors influencing women’s fertility decisions have changed since the 1950s, especially considering how women’s rights and the traditional family structure have changed since the 1950s. Using a probit regression model, it is found that a woman’s age, marital status, race, education, employment status, and income all significantly impact her likelihood of having a child. It is also found that, contrary to findings from the mid-twentieth century, extrinsic variables such as spouse’s income, women’s wages relative to men’s, and relative economic aspirations do not impact women’s decisions to have children. The results of this study therefore suggest that the factors influencing women’s fertility decisions have in fact changed since the mid-twentieth century—changes likely attributable to women’s increased independence, both in terms of the economy and the structure of the family.