A Phenomenological Exploration of the Experiences of Counselor Education Doctoral Student Mothers with Young Children Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/m900p037b

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  • AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OFBrooke N. Lundquist for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling presented onAugust 31, 2017.Title: A Phenomenological Exploration of the Experiences of Counselor EducationDoctoral Student Mothers with Young ChildrenAbstract approved: ______________________________________________________Kok-Mun NgThe number of women in doctoral programs is increasing each year and womennow comprise the majority of doctoral students in America (U.S. Department ofEducation, 2015). Previous research has shown the high levels of complexities andstresses that female doctoral students face during their studies (Mallinckrodt & Leong,1992) and this has found to be even more so for doctoral student mothers (Brown &Watson, 2010). Of the studies that have been done on counselor education doctoralstudent mothers, no studies were found to have specifically explored the experiences ofcounselor education doctoral student mothers who have young children. Being that youngchildren have unique needs from their mothers or primary caregivers, and many doctoralstudents are of prime childbearing years (Hoffer et al., 2006), it is important tounderstand the experiences of these doctoral student mothers in order to better supportthis population during their doctoral studies. It is also important to give voice to thesestudent mothers through research methods that value their lived experiences. Throughtwo phenomenological studies, this dissertation is an exploration of (a) the motheringexperience and (b) the student experience of counselor education doctoral studentmothers with children under the age of five. There were 11 participants interviewed andthe same 11 participated in both phenomenological research studies.iiThe first study is an exploration of the mothering experience of counseloreducation doctoral student mothers with a child or children under the age of five. Theresults of Study 1 identified six major common themes that described the experience ofthe 11 women who participated in the research study. These themes included: (a)ambivalence, where the priority of the mothering role meets that of the strong desire to bea successful doctoral student and professional in the counselor education field; (b)increasing and accepting give and take: negotiating expectations while increasing copingmechanisms; (c) the teeter-totter of mothering-student roles; (d) “Superwomansyndrome”; (e) indistinguishable roles (those of mother and student) combine together tocreate identity; and (f) the importance of leading by example.The second study is an exploration of the student experience of counseloreducation doctoral student mothers with a child or children under five years of age. Thefindings from Study 2 resulted in five common themes that existed for the participants,including (a) experiencing ambivalence about being a doctoral student while mothering ayoung child children; (b) experiencing constant pressures due to responsibilities that canbe conflicting, complimentary, or both; (c) responding by increasing coping mechanismsto accommodate the doctoral student role; (d) believing in the importance of leading byexample; and (e) acknowledging and accepting that they have a different experience thantheir doctoral student peers.Despite findings in Study 1 and Study 2 that were similar or overlapped, therewere differences found between the experiences of the participants in their different roles.These results provided insights into the experiences that counselor education doctoralstudent mothers with children under the age of five have during their doctoral programs.iiiIt is hoped that this information will help doctoral program administrators, faculty,student peers, and even doctoral student mothers gain a better understanding of theunique experiences that these students face. It is important that doctoral program facultyand administration not only better understand this population of students, but also realizethe importance of engaging with these students as “whole people” (Springer et al., 2009,p. 453), which includes who they are outside of their student roles. Universitydepartmental systems and programs should be evaluated, enhanced, or put into place forthese students to help support them during their doctoral studies. This could includefamily-friendly policies, child care options, parental support groups, and furthereducating faculty and staff about the unique experiences that these students face while intheir doctoral programs (Lester, 2013).
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Brooke Lundquist (lundquib@oregonstate.edu) on 2017-09-14T16:39:46Z No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1223 bytes, checksum: d127a3413712d6c6e962d5d436c463fc (MD5) Lundquist Dissertation-FINAL with appendices.pdf: 4151269 bytes, checksum: 7283dc5af69876928772c21f2b59dae1 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2017-10-16T23:37:03Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1223 bytes, checksum: d127a3413712d6c6e962d5d436c463fc (MD5) Lundquist Dissertation-FINAL with appendices.pdf: 4151269 bytes, checksum: 7283dc5af69876928772c21f2b59dae1 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2017-08-31
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Margaret Mellinger(margaret.mellinger@oregonstate.edu) on 2017-10-16T23:37:03Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1223 bytes, checksum: d127a3413712d6c6e962d5d436c463fc (MD5) Lundquist Dissertation-FINAL with appendices.pdf: 4151269 bytes, checksum: 7283dc5af69876928772c21f2b59dae1 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2017-09-21T17:32:13Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1223 bytes, checksum: d127a3413712d6c6e962d5d436c463fc (MD5) Lundquist Dissertation-FINAL with appendices.pdf: 4151269 bytes, checksum: 7283dc5af69876928772c21f2b59dae1 (MD5)

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