Women returning to college : analysis of factors influencing the decision



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This research looked at factors influencing the decisions of older-than-average women who had returned to college or had considered returning to college. These factors were grouped in the general categories of developmental preparedness, motivation, and opportunity factors. The hypotheses were tested using a questionnaire administered to women over the age of 30. The hypotheses were that there would be a significant difference between women returning to school and women not returning to school on each of the independent variables. To test the hypotheses, t-tests were run on each dependent variable with the dichotomized return to school variable as the independent groups classification variable. Of the variables tested—attitudes towards women's roles, experience in psychotherapy, previous college experience, preparation in the area of work and career, experience of recent critical events, and perceived presence of emotional and financial support-there was one that made a significant difference in a woman's decision to return to college. If a woman was interested in preparing for or enhancing her work/career and perceived that a return to college would help her in this endeavor, she was more likely to return to college than was a woman who was not interested in work/career preparation and/or did not perceive a return to school as helpful in this endeavor. Explanations for the results were discussed and suggestions for future research were proposed.



Women--Education (Higher)--Psychological aspects, Middle-aged women--Education (Higher)