Dissertation Abstracts

Self-Concept and Self-Esteem among Graduate Women: A Cross-Cultural Study

Author: Frey, Rosemary A, r.frey@auckland.ac.nz
Department: Sociology, Psychology and Social Work
University: University of the West Indies - Mona, Jamaica
Supervisor: Dr. Garth Lipps
Year of completion: 2010
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: self-concept , self-esteem , gender , cross-cultural
Areas of Research: Social Psychology , Communication, Knowledge and Culture , Health


Study 1 (n = 356) was a three culture (Caribbean, North America and East Asia) quantitative study conducted over the course of one academic year; it examined the premise that a woman’s view of self and self-esteem impact on her emotional adjustment to graduate school (assessed in terms of measured levels of depression, loneliness, sense of control and impostor phenomenon). A separate but related study (Study 2), utilized 72 semi-structured interviews to extend as well as validate the quantitative findings of Study 1. Study 1 results included the finding that the self-view of both women and men changed over the course of the school year to match the situation. Study 2 results included the use of more active coping strategies by female students in comparison to male students. In terms of culture, Caribbean and East Asian female students (to a lesser extent) were more likely to compartmentalize the different aspects of their lives while the North American female students reported “spillover” from one role to another. The insights gained from the present research may be helpful in alerting supervisors to potential obstacles that may retard a students’ progress.

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