Testing Work-Family Hypotheses Using the General Social Survey

Activity Description:

Author: Robert S. Bausch, Cameron University


This assignment requires students to use the Survey Documentation and Analysis website at UC Berkeley to develop and test hypotheses on a variety of work-family issues. Students choose variables from a list of work and family-related variables in the General Social Survey to include in their hypotheses. The list of variables is not intended to be exhaustive, but instead a sampling of some of the variables related to work and family contained in the GSS. Instructors can either add to this list or allow students to select additional variables from the 2002 Topical Module on the Quality of Working Life. After testing their hypotheses, students must use one or two sociological theories to explain their findings.

This assignment is intended to provide students with some experience in writing, testing, and explaining hypotheses without having to collect their own data. Instructors who wish to expand this assignment can add a library research element to it by having students compare their findings to those published in sociological journals. A brief discussion of hypothesis testing and theoretical application, along with a demonstration on how to use the software on the SDA website by the instructor, should adequately prepare students for this assignment.

To access the full details of the assignment, download the following document:

Activity Source:

Sweet, Stephen, Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Joshua Mumm, Judith Casey, and Christina Matz. 2006. Teaching Work and Family: Strategies, Activities, and Syllabi. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.

Activity Links to Materials:

work_family_hypoth GSS