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ERIC Number: ED567339
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 106
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-8973-1
The Impact of Mutuality in Doctoral Students and Faculty Mentoring Relationships
McMillian-Roberts, Kathleen D.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Fielding Graduate University
Mentoring is a close and dynamic helping relationship, which is characteristic of doctoral student-faculty relationships. Mutuality, a primary relational tenant in relational cultural theory (RCT), enables participants to mutually benefit from this shared learning experience where both contribute, respect, and affect each other in a relationship that fosters growth. This research explores relational conditions that promote mutuality between doctoral students and faculty mentoring relationships from a RCT theoretical lens. Levinson, Darrow, Klein, Levinson, McKee (1978) laid the foundation in his seminal study of mentoring in human development. Kram (1988), another pioneer identified key aspects of mentoring relationships. Daloz (1999), another developmentalist, refers to the mentor as a "guide" who leads us along a journey. The work of these researchers has been applied mostly to business settings and the RCT mutuality research was not in academic settings, both of which suggest that there is a gap that my research addressed. Qualitative interviewing was used to capture detailed descriptions and experiences. There were 9 mentoring pairs for a total of 18 participants who had the same mentor for at least 2 years. These participants were recruited from the schools of Human and Organizational Development (HOD) and Educational Leadership and Change (ELC). Both schools are within Fielding Graduate University. This institution is based on adult learning theory and a distributive learning model. The students who attend this university are mid-career adults and full-time professionals. Through the use of thematic analysis, the data revealed that mutuality was the relational connector to the five themes identified: mutuality is core to growth fostering relationships and begins from the initial interaction of faculty and doctoral student; mutuality increases over time and simultaneously, a developmental shift occurs in the doctoral student as he or she begins to take ownership of his/her work; as the relationship deepens, contributions from the faculty and student are beneficial for both parties; the power differential that existed in the beginning of the mentoring relationship still remained but decreased and became more mutually empowering. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California (Santa Barbara)