Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Learning to manage: How Saudi female doctoral students in education manage academic and motherhood roles in U.S. universities
by Alhajjuj, Kawthar Khalaf, Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2016, 240; 10251982
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences of 14 Saudi female doctoral students who were managing motherhood and academic roles while studying in the United States. All of the participants were enrolled in doctoral programs in education in the U.S. This study asked the following questions: how do Saudi female doctoral students with children manage their roles as both doctoral students and mothers? What type(s) of support do Saudi females receive in managing their multiple roles? What challenges result from performing these multiple roles? How do Saudi women with children respond to these challenges? What strategies do female Saudi doctoral students develop to manage and balance their roles? What are the roles of advisors, faculty members, classmates, husbands, and family members in supporting Saudi doctoral mothers while they study in U.S. institutions? Through a qualitative research design, I explored the experiences of 14 Saudi student mothers through participant interviews. Several major findings were uncovered. First, Saudi mothers manage their academic and motherhood roles successfully. They received different forms of support from their advisors, faculty members, classmates, husbands, and family members. The reported stories from those Saudi mothers reveal a number of barriers they confront as mothers and doctoral students in U.S. institutions, such as lack of institutional support, lack of Saudi Cultural Mission support, academic difficulties, feelings of guilt, discrimination, and family adjustment problems. Finally, the study concludes that Saudi mothers developed a number of strategies to manage their roles and responsibilities, such as limiting social activities to online and weekends, setting priorities and doing urgent tasks, using reminders, planning ahead of time, using daycare and housekeepers, delaying having babies, seeking help from friends, seeking help from older kids, keeping their kids busy, and rejecting help from others.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wolf Wendel, Lisa
Commitee: Parker, Eugene, Rice, Suzanne, Schwoerer, Catherine, Twombly, Susan
School: University of Kansas
Department: Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- Kansas
Source: DAI-A 78/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership, Womens studies
Keywords: Doctoral programs, International students, Mothers, Saudi female students
Publication Number: 10251982
ISBN: 9781369564280
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