Experiences of Single - Mother Doctoral Students as They Navigate Between the Educational System, Societal Expectations, and Parenting Their Children: A Phenomenological Approach

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Among many factors, perhaps their confidence was shaped by cultural mantras in the United States, which proclaim that this is a country of opportunity where it is possible to pursue one’s dreams and “reach the top of [one’s] potential,” as one of the participants indicated. Of relevance, there are a multitude of good reasons for women to leave abusive relationships in order to reach their full potential, and this was what many single-mother doctoral students have had to do. On one hand, societal expectations are on their side, encouraging them to leave the relationship. On the other hand, when they do leave, they often experience a crippling lack of cultural, societal, and programmatic support. When they left these relationships and decided to pursue their doctorates while being single parents to their children, they were often marginalized by their universities’ doctoral programs and faculty, by peers, and by what should have been their support systems.
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December 14, 2016
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