The Third Shift. Juggling Employment, Family, and the Farm

Elizabeth Gallagher & Ursula Delworth, University of Iowa


Employed women work a first shift in paid occupations, and then work a second shift of housework and child care, often with little participation from their husbands. Research suggests that a third shift of farm work exists for employed farm women. The issues involved for farm women juggling these three shifts are considered, and implications for therapy discussed. Three general value orientations for farm women proposed by Delworth, Veach, and Grohe (1988) are explicated and discussed in terms of the provisions of effective services for women who are living "three shift lives."

While women's participation in the labor force has increased (Strober, 1988), their household and child care tasks in general have neither diminished nor been equally shared by their husbands (Bergmann, 1986; Blau & Ferber, 1986). Women are paid two thirds as much as men and, after the work day, while their husbands may relax, many women start a second shift of child care and housework (Hochschild, 1989). Employed farm wives carry the same second shift household and child care load as their urban sisters. However, farm wives also must juggle the third shift work of managing and maintaining the family farm.

Clinicians will be better prepared to work with employed women if they understand the stressors experienced by employed women who also have family responsibilities. The unique stressors and difficulties experienced by farm women add an additional dimension and require specific clinical expertise. Our conclusions suggest that other groups also may be experiencing third shift phenomena, and that researchers and clinicians need to examine the impact of these phenomena.

The First Shift

More women have entered the first shift realm of paid employment than ever before. The percentage of women in the paid labor force has risen steadily since the turn of the century, and especially since 1950, yet women continue to earn substantially less than men. Over 70% of wives and mothers work outside the home (Hochschild, 1989); two thirds of all mothers have paid jobs, and 67% of them work full time. There are more working mothers and mothers actively seeking employment than nonmothers, and 58% of all married couples with children are two-job families (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1988). Despite women's increased participation in the labor force, their wages have not risen accordingly; nearly half (46%) of working women have an income of less than $10,000 per year, and women overall earn 70%/o of men's income (Hochschild, 1989).

There also are indications that the occupations filled by some women may be more demanding and stressful than men's work positions. For example, women in service jobs appeared to suffer more stress-related coronary disease than male executives (Haynes & Feinleib, 1980). Men also seemed to have more on-the-job leisure than women. In one study (Stafford & Duncan, 1978), men enjoyed over I hour and 40 minutes more of leisure at work than women did each week. Another researcher (Robinson, 1977b) found that at work, men averaged 1/2 hour more leisure per day than women, totalling about 2 1/2 hours more free time each week. Men were found to spend more time on coffee breaks, scheduled work breaks, lunch, and relaxing at work than women did (Quinn & Staines, 1979).

The situation for working women may be summarized as follows: Many women work longer hours, for lower wages, at perhaps more stressful paid employment than do many men. When the first shift is over, most working married women and mothers begin a second shift of home-making and child care, with less participation from their husbands.

The Second Shift

Hochschild (1989) has ably documented the phenomenon she terms the second shift. Even women who work the same full-time hours as their husbands spend more time than men on housekeeping and child care.


Most women without children spend much more time than men on housework; with children, they devote more time to both housework and child care. Just as there is a wage gap between men and women in the workplace, there is a "leisure gap" between them at home. Most women work one shift at the office or factory and a "second shift" at home. (Hochschild, 1989, p. 4)

Despite national findings that 78% of husbands believe that if both spouses work full time, they should share housework equally (Huber & Spitze, 1978), numerous studies have found that the burden of housework and child care is still shouldered by wives. Compiling the findings of several studies, Bergmann (1986) and Blau and Ferber (1986) estimated that depending on the definition of housework, full-time homemakers spent an average of 40 to 48 hours per week on housework, and working wives spent 22 to 23 hours per week, while husbands spent only 8.5 to 12 hours per week on household tasks.

Even when men's contributions to housework increased, this did not necessarily signify an increase in their overall labor contribution. For example, while one study found that husbands' housework time had increased by about an hour per week, their time spent at paid employment had decreased by about the same amount (Juster & Stafford, 1984). Comparisons of the amount of hours of women's and men's paid and unpaid labor have consistently yielded Hochschild's (1989) leisure gap. One study of white working couples found women worked a total of 87 hours compared to 76 hours for their husbands, resulting in an 11 hours-per-week leisure gap (Coverman, 1983). A nationwide survey found a daily leisure gap of 2.2 hours, or about 15 1/2 hours per week (Robinson, 1977a). Married mothers were observed to average 85 hours a week on paid employment, housework, and child care, while married fathers averaged only 66 hours, making a weekly leisure gap of 19 hours (Googins, 1987). Professional women with children were found to spend 30 hours a week more on paid and unpaid work than their husbands (Yogev, 1981).

Husbands of working wives enjoy the benefits of greater income and profess an ideal of equally shared housework and child care, but research indicates that their involvement in these tasks does not substantially increase when wives go to work. This situation is complicated further in the lives of farm women who juggle home and family with employment and also are expected to work a "third shift" on the farm.

Employed Farm Women's Three Shifts

The First Shift

A greater percentage of farm women than ever before are participating in the first shift of off-farm employment. Scholl (1983) noted that traditionally, farm women were less likely than urban women to have paid employment perhaps because of the labor demands of farm life and lack of employment opportunities in rural areas. However, while nonfarm women's labor participation rate doubled between 1930 and 1980, that of farm women quadrupled.

One third to one half of farm women in the United States and Canada are employed either part time or full time off the farm (Kaiser, 1986). A national survey (Jones & Rosenfeld, 1981) found one third of farm women working off the farm. Similarly, a survey (Friedberger, 1989) of Iowa farm families in the mid-1980s found that 34% of farm women were employed off-farm. The 1980 US. Census (US. Department of the Census, 1980) showed an employment rate among farm women of about 46%, and a more recent survey (Willie-Sutton, 1987) of Iowa farm women found that 47% were employed.

The major reason for farm women's increased participation in the labor market has been financial need, especially as a result of the farm crisis. Except for the years 1973-1974, from 1967 to 1983, off-farm income was greater than net farm income for most farm families (Scholl, 1983). Fifty-five percent of Friedberger's (1989) sample of Iowa farm families reported being "under some pressure" financially (p. 172). Murray and Keller (1991) cited U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics from 1985 which suggested that one third of American farmers with sales over $100,000 were in danger of losing their farming operations. Murray and Keller (1991) noted that many economists believe farmers with a 30% debt-to-asset ratio were in serious difficulty and that at least one study (cited in Heffernan & Heffernan, 1985) found this to be the average debt-to-asset ratio. Farm income may not be enough to pay the farm debt or support the family.

Friedberger (1989) found that among Iowa farm families, the most common response to financial difficulties was for the wife to seek off-farm employment "The drive to obtain an off-farm job was often launched by the wife" (p. 121). Nationally, one fourth of employed farm women said they worked off-farm to provide income for the farm; 57% worked off-farm to provide money for household and farm needs (Jones & Rosenfeld, 1981, Survey, 1982). Forty-one percent of a survey of Florida farm women worked off-farm for financial reasons (Gladwin 1985). A major reason Iowa women worked off-farm was to maintain an adequate standard of living (Willie-Sutton, 1987). Thirty-five percent of farm husbands in the 12 states of the North Central region also took off-farm employment to ease financial difficulties from 1985-1989 (Lasley & Fellows, 1990).

Additional financially related benefits of off-farm employment included group life and health insurance, social security, unemployment benefits, and a stable income (Scholl, 1983; Veach, 1986). Other reasons for working off the farm included reducing social isolation (cited by 18% of farm women nationally), maintaining or utilizing career skills (16%) (Jones & Rosenfeld, 1981), and providing community service (Gladwin, 1985). Women who worked for financial reasons were more likely to be employed full time than were women who worked for social or professional reasons (Jones & Rosenfeld, 1981). Of the 47% of Iowa farm women who were employed, over half had full-time jobs; thus about one quarter of Iowa farm women were employed full time (Willie-Sutton, 1987).

Occupations among working farm women varied. Twenty-nine percent of employed Iowa farm women worked in professional occupations such as nursing and teaching, and a similar percentage worked in clerical jobs. Twenty-three percent considered themselves self-employed, selling baked goods, home-made crafts, antiques, eggs, and other products out of their homes (Willie-Sutton, 1987). Veach (1986) noted that cottage industries such as cake decorating, crafts, clothes making, ceramics, and aerobics were a way for women to bring in money without leaving the farm. Other farm women breed pets or raise exotic animals. Friedberger (1989) found Iowa farm women employed in light industry, nursing homes, clerical work, and service jobs. Others started craft shops or beauty salons located on the farm. Friedberger concluded that during the farm crisis, Iowa farm women were most likely
to find low-paying jobs in the service area. Like their urban sisters, when employed farm wives have finished this first shift, the second shift of housework and child care awaits them.

The Second Shift

A national survey by the US. Department of Agriculture (Jones & Rosenfeld, 1981) found farm women's employment status had little influence on the amount of time they spent in household tasks and child care. Housework, including tasks such as cooking and cleaning, were reported as regular duties by 98% of nonemployed farm women and 96% of employed farm women. Child care was reported as a regular duty by more employed (76%) than nonemployed farm women (73%). An added set of household tasks, perhaps less familiar to some urban women, was the care of vegetable gardens and animals for family food consumption Seventy percent of employed farm women reported this as a regular task, compared to 76% of nonemployed farm women (Jones & Rosenfeld, 1981).

Gardening and the care of animals for family food consumption may give rural women a heavier household workload than urban women. Farm homes, surrounded by fields and dusty gravel roads, get dirtier than urban dwellings. Farmers' work clothes and children's play clothes may be more soiled than those of city dwellers. Access to time-saving options such as fast food restaurants may be limited. Many farm husbands may provide little assistance in housework and child care tasks. Ninety-two percent of farm wives in the 12-state North Central region reported that they always completed these tasks themselves (Lasley & Fellows, 1990). Thus, farm women in general are likely to spend at least as much time on housework and child care as urban women. Like urban women, when farm women take on the first shift work of paid employment, they continue to perform second shift tasks of homemaking and child care. Unlike urban women, however, farm women have third shift demands of farm labor to perform as well.

The Third Shift

Although women have always participated in the work of food production, there are indications that farm women's participation in farm labor has been on the rise. A traditional gender-based division of labor (the husband involved in field work, the wife in domestic tasks, and shared barn chores and household maintenance) was found in a 1962 Wisconsin survey (Smith, 1969; Smith & Bharadwaj, 1966). Two decades later, a similar division of labor was found in both Wisconsin (Wilkening, 1981; Wilkening & Ahrens,1979) and Florida (Downie & Gladwin, 1981). However, the new Wisconsin research found that the range of women's tasks had broadened, while husbands had not become involved in additional household tasks.

Friedberger (1989) noted technological and other trends beginning in the 1950s, including the use of large machinery, the switch to grain farming, and more specialized and efficient livestock management, which led to rapid changes in farming. These changes also contributed to the increased participation of women in farming operations by the time of the farming boom of the 1970s. Women drove tractors, assisted with livestock raising, and became involved in farm management. Younger couples and those with larger farms formed husband-and-wife partnerships in which wives had a full-time role in farming operations.

This fuller participation of women in farm operations was demonstrated by two surveys in the 1980s. Fifty-five percent of farm women reported that they considered themselves main operators of their farms, and 60% of the married farm women said that they could run the operation without their husbands, if necessary (Jones & Rosenfeld, 1981). A more recent survey (Women, 1985) found farm women in a variety of important positions, including full management. Eighty-one percent of farm women participated in decisions about whether to buy or sell land, up from 58% of the USDA survey (Jones & Rosenfeld, 1981). Sixty-two percent participated in decisions on the purchase of major farm equipment up from 46%. Approximately half of the farm women participated in decisions about starting a new crop or breed of livestock, trying new production practices, and when to sell products. All levels of women's participation in farm management were considerably higher than in earlier survey findings (Women, 1985).

The US. Department of Agriculture's National Farm Women Survey (Jones & Rosenfeld, 1981) was the first national survey of farm women to examine their participation in various farm and household tasks. Employed and nonemployed women devoted approximately the same amount of time to farm work such as running farm errands, caring for farm animals, harvesting crops or products, supervising the work of others, plowing, disking, planting, cultivating, and applying fertilizer. For example, one of the most common tasks was running farm errands (e.g., purchasing parts and supplies for farm equipment). Forty-eight percent of nonemployed and 45% of employed farm women reported that this was a regular task. For another 42% of employed and 36% of nonemployed farm women this was an occasional task. Caring for farm animals, including herding and milking dairy cattle, was reported as a regular task by 39% of nonemployed and 32% of employed farm women (Jones & Rosenfeld, 1981).

When other variables (income, farm type differences) were controlled, the only task in which a significant difference was found between employed and nonemployed farm women was that of keeping farm financial records and paying taxes and bills. This was a regular task for 63% of nonemployed farm women, versus 58% of employed women. Even though there was a statistically significant difference, clearly a majority of women working off the farm were still engaged in this task regularly (Jones & Rosenfeld, 1981). A Wisconsin survey (Wilkening, 1981; Wilkening & Ahrens, 1979) found that when women took off-farm employment they continued to keep farm financial records, though their farm chores and fieldwork did decrease. As Scholl (1983) noted, among both employed and nonemployed farm women, the proportion who did not participate in farming was similar: one quarter of employed and one fifth of nonemployed farm women were inactive in farm work.

Thus, farm women employed off-farm not only have the second shift burden of housework and child care, but also a third shift of farm work, in which they appear to participate about as regularly as nonemployed farm women The combination of coping with three shifts and factors unique to the lives of employed farm women may create special stressors for these women.

Dissatisfaction and Stress Among Farm Women on the Third Shift

As Scholl (1983) pointed out, at least one fourth of US. farm women have assumed a "triad of roles" (p. 10), those of employee, homemaker, and farmer. A sizable proportion of these women have obtained employment to meet the financial needs of the farm. Farm women generally reported satisfaction with their rural location and with farming as a way of life, but were less satisfied with farming as a way to make a living. Women employed off the farm were less satisfied with farming as a way of life and as a way of making a living, and women who worked to meet the farm's financial needs were significantly less satisfied than those with other reasons for working (Jones & Rosenfeld, 1981). Friedberger (1989) also found dissatisfaction among employed farm women. Scholl (1983) suggested that employed farm women had an important role in keeping the farm financially secure, but cautioned that as farm families become more financially dependent on women's off-farm income and these women take on another shift their satisfaction with the farming lifestyle is likely to decrease.

A number of factors may exacerbate the stresses in the three-shift lifestyle of employed farm women. Economic pressures have been reported as a major concern for farm families. When asked what the USDA could do to help farm women, economic issues were most commonly cited by both men and women (Survey, 1982). Friedberger (1989) found that, of Iowa farm families in which the wife was employed, only 21% reported that they were making a comfortable living. Forty-four percent reported being under some pressure, and an equal number were worried about quitting farming. Nationally, farm women were found to have spent an average of two thirds of their lives working or living on farms (Jones & Rosenfeld, 1981). Thus, these women are concerned about losing not only financial stability, but also their homes and their way of life.

Seeking and starting a job after spending most of their lives on the farm may be a difficult adjustment for farm women. Lack of employment opportunities in rural areas may complicate the job search and limit options. Friedberger (1989) found that Iowa farm women often commuted long distances and worked for minimum wages, predominantly in the service sector, which, as noted earlier (Haynes & Feinleib, 1980), may be more stressful than executive positions.

The family life cycle also may play a role in the level of stress employed farm women experience. Women have been found to be more involved in farm work during the years of child-bearing and child development and to decrease their participation in later years (Jones & Rosenfeld, 1981; Wilkening, 1981; Wilkening & Ahrens, 1979). Friedberger (1989) found that when Iowa women obtained employment, "considerable reorganization of the daily routine of child care and home management was necessary" (p. 165). Child care options also may be limited in rural communities (Veach, 1986). If entry into off-farm employment coincides with the early years of the family cycle, when farm women are typically more involved with the farming operation and probably more involved in child care as well, these women may experience greater stress.

Veach (1986) discussed several role conflicts experienced by working farm women which may add to their stress. Employed women may be concerned about farm safety hazards during their absence; family members may be injured in accidents with machinery, despondent husbands or sons may attempt suicide. Family conflicts may arise as women's financial input empowers them to participate in financial decisions. The expenses involved in commuting and the limited child care options in small communities also may create difficulties. Finally, the demands of farm work may hinder women's participation in work-related social settings important to career advancement.

The traditional role of women as nurturers may also add to the stress experienced by farm women as welt Joslin and Rosmann (1986) argued that because of their family role as emotional leaders, as well as the excessive demands of a three shift lifestyle, farm women are more likely to exhibit symptoms of stress in farm families. Veach (1986) concurred that working off-farm is an expression of the traditional nurturing role. Seeking off-farm employment is often undertaken for the sake of the family, rather than to fulfill personal developmental goals or as an expression of liberation Thus, "farm women are taking on more responsibilities rather than 'freeing' themselves from past misconceptions" (p. 7) and traditional gender roles. As one farm woman stated the problem: "My value is in leaving the farm and in bringing home income.. yet I have to be available to give support I don't know how. No matter what I do, it's not enough" (Turkington, 1986, p. 18).

A different sort of stressor related to the nurturing role may exist for those farm women who work for personal, professional, social, or other reasons, rather than in response to economic need. Family and friends may see such women as abandoning the traditional role, children may feel neglected, and husbands may resent their wives' absence and lack of help with farm chores, according to a farm wife who returned to school to complete a doctoral degree (Stockman, 1992). Whatever reasons lead farm wives to seek off-farm employment their husbands may be uncomfortable with their wives' new role. Husbands holding the traditional value that it is the man's role to provide financial support may feel threatened as their wives provide that support to the family.

The economic upheaval of the 1980s has, of course, been a time of great stress for male farmers as well. Many have had to secure off-farm employment, and in the case of losing the far new employment altogether (Friedberger, 1989; Turkington, 1986). The ongoing stress adjustments for both women and men have resulted in marital problems for some couples (Friedberger, 1989; Heffernan & Heffernan, 1985). Access to appropriate counseling services may be limited in terms of finances, travel, or a negative attitude on the part of one or both partners.

Psychologists who have worked with farm families during the rural crisis of the 1980s maintain that farm women are highly stressed yet can benefit from the opportunities and challenges of a three-shift life. Hargrove argued (in Turkington, 1986) that even while women likely suffer ill effects as much or more than men, they also hold the key to farm family survival and success. Others express less optimism. Veach, from her perspective as a teacher, mother, and farm woman, stated: "when fertilizer is plowed under it is invisible; and that has been the traditional position of farm women - both plowed under and invisible" (Veach, 1986, p. l). She called for attention from mental health and human service practitioners to the unique difficulties of farm women, most especially those experiencing what we have defined as "three-shift lives."

Therapeutic Implications

Rosmann and Delworth (1990) noted that successful services to farm families involve utilizing staff familiar with issues of rural life and offering services outside the traditional office. However, there remains the danger of maintaining or increasing the farm woman's "invisibility" by always treating her as part of a family or couple. This woman, especially if she is employed off the farm and contributing to farm operations as well as home and child care, requires therapeutic attention in terms of her own individual needs and dreams. Specific stressors must be understood in relation to each woman's own values or orientation (i.e., what she hopes for and expects of herself and her own sense of priorities).

While each woman is a unique individual, a model developed by Delworth, Veach, and Grohe (1988) proposed three general values orientations operating for farm women. Each of these raises somewhat different issues for clinical intervention. The first orientation is the traditional orientation, in which a woman adheres to the role of nurturer and homemaker/farm worker. The second is the conflicted orientation, in which a woman finds herself alternating between more traditional and newer values. The third is the emerging orientation, in which a woman has begun to come to terms with conflicts and ambivalence and is focused toward integration of new and old roles and values. A fourth, or synthesis orientation is proposed to the model to describe women who have come to terms with necessities and choices and have developed appropriate balance.The first three orientations, with focus on "third shift" farm women and clinical implications, require elaboration.


The traditionally oriented woman is more especially stressed by her "first shift" (i.e, employment outside the home). She seeks this employment only in economic necessity and regrets the time and energy taken from her chosen focus roles, those of homemaker and farm helper. She is likely to internalize lack of support from family and friends for her paid employment and to demonstrate self-blame, guilt and a persistent sense of loss. If she also needs to assume additional responsibility for farm management decisions, these feelings are likely to increase. There may be a good deal of repressed anger regarding the new role(s). These women are likely to invest most of their interest and energy in their second, and possibly third, shifts.


This woman is characterized by ambivalence concerning new roles. She may feel attracted to opportunities for growth and expansion in paid employment, but also does not want to redefine her values. These women tend to blame the "system" for their problems, and to experience notable mood swings. They are clearly in transition and unsure of the outcome. They often demonstrate variable attention to each of their three shifts.


The emerging woman is most stressed by trying to do justice to all three shifts and by lack of support for her new role(s). While inner conflicts remain, these women are more ready for active attention to priorities and stress reduction. They tend to value their first shift especially if this paid employment allows expression of their individual interests and talents.

Careful assessment is necessary in order for both the therapist and woman client to understand and work with the client's value orientation. There are no hard and fast guidelines. A persistent priority and focus for traditional women is the home and farm, and above all, the family. Conflicted women present different foci across sessions, one time focusing on family, another time on the off-farm job. The key here is the equal intensity brought to the different focus issues. Emerging women usually evidence the most persistent guilt and anger, although these may be presented in a more subtle way than for women with the other two orientations. For example, a traditional woman may be extremely angry if the farm is threatened. The emerging woman focuses more of her anger on being "invisible" and "not supported" as a separate individual, and more of her guilt on wanting to be seen as an individual in the first place, The emerging woman is probably at more risk for depression, although this clinical observation has not been empirically tested.

Therapeutic Focus

Clearly, therapeutic foci will differ for these three types of women. Support and respect for the individual woman are basic and necessary conditions. Beyond that the value orientations of the woman will play a large role in determining interventions. The traditionally oriented woman who tends to feel most alienated from her employment role, might be aided in an exploration of possible close integration of these roles. For example, one traditional woman was able to attend a community college program that prepared her to work with companion animals, and then opened a pet grooming service in her home. She, thus, was able to provide needed family income while maintaining closer ties to family and farm. Such changes are not always possible, but the large number of farm women who have set up businesses run from their homes may signify both interest and possibilities.

Traditional women also are the most likely to be negatively affected by the loss of parts of their lives they value highly, activities such as helping at their church or with a youth group. Therapists can aid these women in better specifying high-value activities, and in giving themselves "permission" to engage in at least some of these.

Conflicted women, as the term implies, are ambivalent and in transition. Values clarification and work on self-esteem can be helpful. Often these women benefit from "homework" that requires them to focus more on one or another "shift" for a period of time, plus careful processing of this experience.

Emerging women often see themselves as truly "invisible," since the rural culture does not easily allow expression of this more individualistic orientation. A "first shift" of off-farm employment is more accepted currently, but only as a way to support the family's life on the land. The woman who finds herself excited and challenged by the possibilities in her employment tends to receive little family or community support for this stance. Most often she keeps this excitement to herself, or perhaps shares it only with one or two workplace confidants. Inevitably stress and a sense of isolation build up, and this woman tends to experience both guilt and anger. Therapists need to validate the experience of these women as legitimate, while also helping them to determine how, and if, they will balance the roles. In some cases, the alienation and lack of support becomes so intense that these women choose to leave farm and family. Clinical interventions often can aid emerging women in finding a way to integrate the roles, if that is the path they choose. Many times, psychologists in academic settings meet these women, since a number return to college to complete degrees or for advanced study. Support groups for emerging women can sometimes be formed to process and validate their unique experience and to provide the necessary support.

Marital and family problems may be processed somewhat differently in each of these orientations as well. Emerging women are most clearly developing views and perspectives that differ from those of their husbands. In our clinical work, these are the women most likely to consider separation and divorce. Marital counseling can be successful if there are sufficient positive elements in the marriage to motivate both spouses to work on the relationship. For some emerging women, however, divorce and a move away (often from children as well as husband and farm) has been the chosen route. We have kept in touch with these women (few in number) and they have established successful professional lives, but not without ongoing pain and conflict.

While employed farm women clearly share the stresses of other women working "first" and "second" shifts, their "third" shift and the manner in which they value each role is a key determinant in stress patterns. Therapists need to assess individual value orientations carefully with each woman prior to formulating intervention plans.


Employed women work a first shift in occupations which often provide less leisure, pay lower wages, and which may be more demanding than traditional male occupations. Employed women then work a second shift of housework and child care, with little participation from their husbands. Research suggests that a third shift of farm work exists for employed farm women The issues involved for farm women juggling these three shifts have been considered, and implications for therapy have been discussed. However, the third shift phenomenon is not limited to farm women. Women involved in the care of a disabled or chronically ill parent, spouse, or child also may experience a third shift as may working women who also have devoted themselves to work in a political or social cause. Research on third shift experience may provide insight not only into the stresses but also the special coping skills involved in juggling three shifts. Likewise clinicians may find that assessment of third-shift experience may provide a great deal of information regarding the stresses and strengths in the lives of clients.


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Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Elizabeth Gallagher, Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations, The University of Iowa, 361 Lindquist Center, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

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