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ERIC Number: ED554513
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 122
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3032-2135-4
Seeking Sisterhood: Understanding the Gender Climate on a College Campus Using Participatory Action Research
Kates, Emily
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Alliant International University
Through Participatory Action Research (PAR), the present study investigated psychological and social aspects of women's experiences at a diverse Catholic college in California (CU). The study sought to better understand female students' perspectives about the environment for women on campus and to develop actionable outcomes to improve women's experiences on campus. Eight students joined my dissertation advisor and me to form the Women's Action Research Team. The Team came together to investigate how campus women perceive the quality of relationships with other campus women and to the campus community, and how competition and support relate to well-being, stress and self-esteem. A survey was developed using previously validated questionnaires. 126 students (16% of total undergraduates) were surveyed. 78% were female and 77% were under 25. Ethnic backgrounds varied: 24% African American, 22% Mixed, 20% Caucasian, 15% Hispanic, 8% Pacific Islander and 7% Asian. No differences by ethnic group emerged on overall well-being, self-esteem, stress, competition and connection to community and peers. Relative to men, women reported lower levels of well-being, though average scores remained within the "healthy" range. Moderately strong relationships with a female friend and levels of connection with the community were reported by women. Neutral to moderate levels of competition among women emerged. Levels of competition and connection to the community did not differ between women and men. Women reporting lower levels of competition were more likely to report higher levels of connection to the community, whereas men who reported higher levels of competition among men were more likely to report higher levels of connection to the community. Perceived competition significantly predicted level of connection to the community. Taken together, perceived competition among women, connection to the campus community and connection to a female peer significantly predicted women's levels of well-being, self-esteem, stress and loneliness. The Team developed recommended interventions to improve campus experiences for women. Interventions included sharing survey findings with student leaders, faculty and staff, and offering women's groups on campus, (e.g., a consciousness-raising group to discuss local and global feminist issues). [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
Identifiers - Location: California