Date of Award

Fall 2012

Project Type


Program or Major

Family Studies

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Elizabeth Dolan


This study's aim was to determine the resources used by rural low-income mothers' working non-standard schedules to manage stress and keep their families from a chaotic state. The Double ABCX theory of family stress guided this study. Resources identified were strong mental well-being, parental confidence and skills and large social support network. Data were collected from 51 rural low-income mothers who worked non-standard schedules, by surveys and interviews three separate times. It was found that mothers who had the resources of strong mental well-beings, strong parental confidence and skills and large social support networks had lower stress levels when working non-standard schedules than mothers who did not have these resources. Mothers who lacked resources encountered higher levels of stress and depression, and lower levels of parental confidence and skills. Mothers with fewer resources were more likely to enter a state of chaos including unemployment, marital instability, and financial strain.