NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED533093
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 122
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-5068-9
A Narrative Study of the Experiences that Impact Educational Choices of Middle-Aged Women
Perez, Shireese Redmond
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Walden University
The purpose of this qualitative study was to answer the research questions of how middle-aged women perceive higher education and why they do or do not pursue a higher level of education. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2009 American Community Survey microdata, more than half of the women between the ages of 30-50 years in one Midwestern US city do not have a college degree, and 90% of them are living in poverty. Adult learning and transformational learning are the conceptual frameworks guiding this study. Results of this study may help learning institutions learn more about the perspectives of middle-aged women and may reveal factors that may influence the persistence of this group of adult learners. Using a narrative approach, the interviews included discussions of significant life experiences, motivations, and obstacles to higher education participation. The sampling frame consisted of contacting people through a snowball technique by targeting women between the ages of 30-50 years. Data analysis included recording, transcribing, and thematic coding. The study revealed that challenges to higher education participation were tuition, college preparedness, teenage pregnancy, and lack of support. Their motivations were money and college educated parents. Further, interpretation of findings revealed that perceptions of the benefits of higher education were important enough to participate, but only if no other survival barriers existed. Implications for positive social change include improvement of the lives of women through higher learning which could positively impact the cycle of poverty many of these women experience. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A