Motivation for return to study as a predictor of completion of degree amongst female mature students with children

Catherine Scott*, Ailsa Burns, George Cooney

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The motivation for return to study, as measured by the Continuing Education Women Questionnaire (modified), of 117 mature age female graduates with children was compared with that of 118 former mature age female students with children who had discontinued a degree program before graduation. Motivation was found to relate to a number of predictors, including previous education, age, marital status, family life cycle stage, satisfaction with previous employment and family support for return to study. Interrupters as a group were found to be similar in motivation to graduates. However, certain subgroups of interrupters scored higher on those aspects of motivation which stressed study as a way to ameliorate or escape from unpleasant or difficult life circumstances. These same difficult circumstances in turn made graduation more unlikely and led to discontinuance. The conclusion is drawn that life circumstances may be a more parsimonious predictor of attrition in this population than motivation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)221-239
    Number of pages19
    JournalHigher Education
    Volume35
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1998

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