This qualitative study explored the life experiences of a small group of
Yemeni women who are academically successful and identified factors perceived by this group to have played a major role in their academic success. One of the key objectives was to gain a better understanding of the processes which promoted these factors.
Data were obtained from six Yemeni women through the use of multiple in depth phone interviews scheduled and conducted by the researcher. The interviews were tape recorded, transcribed verbatim, and coded with analytical themes emerging from the data. Cultural, financial and language barriers were identified as factors that may have negatively affected the educational process of some of these women whereas family support, good home environment, and certain identifiable personality traits were prospectively the major factors related to their academic success. The data were investigated from the perspective of Bronfenbrenner's framework in relation to the four levels of the Ecological Systems Theory. The study also utilized aspects of Social Cognitive Theory as outlined by Bandura. The findings indicated that the respondents' education was influenced by the effects of
Bronfenbrenner's four ecological systems. However, it was the "microsystem" that
received significant attention in this study. Parental support and encouragement had
the most significant effect on the participants' educational attainment and
achievement. At an early age the participants internalized their parents values and
standards of behavior notably academic achievement. The parents played a major
role in placing value on education and in enhancing both motivation and
competence in their children. All participants came from intact families where
relationships between fathers and mothers are strong. This strong family
relationship provided stability and harmony in the lives of the respondents.
Recommendations for further research were suggested and presented. Few
past reports paid attention only to the eradication of illiteracy problems in Yemen.
Research in the area of successful academic Yemeni women to determine the
factors that promote success will yield a better understanding about how to
encourage plans for the education of Yemeni women that have a higher chance to
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