Vanessa presenting during her defense on May 17, 2021

Congratulations to Vanessa Pearson ’21 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project titled, “Influences on Paternity Leave” on May 17th. Her research mentor, Dr. Darcey N. Powell, was joined by committee members, Dr. Danielle Findley Van-Nostrand and Dr. David Nichols to oversee her defense. Her project abstract is pasted below.

Vanessa with her Honors in Psyc t-shirt!

Project Abstract:
The overall purpose of this study was to understand the factors that are involved when a father is deciding whether or not to take paternity leave with the birth/adoption of a child. The research was centered around two groups of participants. Study 1 sampled fathers with a child under the age of five. Study 2 sampled prospective fathers – men who are not yet fathers but may be at some point in the future. Participants completed an online survey that asked about their demographics, desired days off, and willingness to take certain types of leave. Most of the hypotheses were not significant or unable to be tested due to sample limitations. For example, several social-demographic factors were not associated with the number of days or types of leave one would take. Even though the findings were not significant, this could mean that the proportion of men who are taking or plan to take paternity leave are increasing and the factors that are holding them back are decreasing. Additionally, while fathers were more likely to know about FMLA than prospective fathers, a majority in both samples believed the US did not have an acceptable leave policy.

Congratulations again to Vanessa Pearson ’21 on a successful defense! We look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!