Description: The percentage of women who receive doctorates has increased by over 300 percent during the past three decades. The consequences of pursuing the Ph.D. degree have always been far reaching and profound, serving as an impetus and springboard for the reconfiguration of one's beliefs, values, and professional life. The purposes of this national study were to ascertain and describe marital and social changes that occurred in the lives of women who were awarded the Ph.D. degree at midlife. A questionnaire was distributed to a sample of three-hundred women who hold the Ph.D. degree and were employed in institutions of higher education in the United States. The study sought to identify the effects of the Ph.D. experience upon the marital relationships, friendships, and social activities of women who completed the degree between the ages of thirty-five and forty-five. Demographic data were collected which were related to their marital status before, during, and after the Ph.D. experience. Both closed and open-ended questions were posed which solicited information pertaining to their post Ph.D. experience. This research reports both quantitative and qualitative findings. The majority of women who complete the Ph.D. experience at midlife undergo and initiate changes in their lives which impact their relationships and activities. Many of these changes are the result of employment which follows the award rather than the degree itself. While some women experience negative effects in some areas of their lives, overall, the findings of this study suggest that changes are perceived positively by the majority of women who receive the Ph.D. at midlife.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Sikes, Debra
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Partner: UNT Libraries