Motivations and problems of the adult woman student

Date

1979-05

Authors

Caldwell, Sarah E.

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Abstract

Evidence is presented in the literature that mature women are returning to school in increasing numbers. Attempts have been made to assess their needs and to understand their motivations as an aggregate group. The present study explored the motivations and problems of the returning student as a function of her age. Sixty three subjects were chosen at random from the student population at the University of Texas at Dallas. The subjects were asked to take the Motivation Analysis Test (MAT) and to complete a questionnaire designed by the investigator. The MAT furnished qualitative and quantitative data on motivation as measured by five drives and five sentiment structures. The Questionnaire provided demographic data and information on the specific motives and problems that the subject was experiencing in her life as a student. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were computed between age of subject and the 14 possible sten scores on the MAT as well as the relevant variables pertaining to motivation, problems and demographic data on the Questionnaire. In addition, means, standard deviations and percentage of responses were computed for the items on both instruments, It was expected that both motivational orientation and perceived problems would vary as a function of age. Analysis of the data supported this expectation: the younger women in the sample were experiencing different motivating factors and problems than were the older women. It is hoped that the results of this study will enable university personnel to facilitate the process of educating the older returning woman student.

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Keywords

Non-traditional students, Older students, Motivational Analysis Test, Older female students

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