Creating pathways for educational success: Understanding the challenges of Latina doctoral student mothers


2020-12, 2020-12


Vasquez-Angeles, Carla
Vasquez-Angeles, Carla


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The experiences of Latina doctoral student mothers are very complex and multifaceted, influenced by the intersectionality of their cultural Latina motherhood and academic doctoral student roles. The purpose of this qualitative case study is to explore the experiences of Latina doctoral student mothers at a South Texas university. This study further seeks to examine how 5 Latina doctoral student mothers negotiate their Latina mother roles with their academic roles. Using qualitative research methods, the collective of data was conducted through an in-depth, unstructured interview. Analysis of the data presented three super ordinate themes supported by sixteen subthemes. The study, ultimately, concluded that participants experience challenges of balancing their cultural Latina motherhood roles with their academic doctoral roles. The study also found cultural implications for Latina motherhood highly influence how Latina doctoral mother students negotiate their Latina mother and doctoral student identities. Lastly, the study found that for Latina doctoral student mothers, their motherhood remains central to their identity. While the findings of the study added to literature on Latina doctoral student mothers and Women’s Way of Knowing further qualitative studies are warranted. To gain an insight into the multifaceted experiences of Latina doctoral student mothers and Women’s Way of Knowing, the following recommendations for future studies include qualitative methods of inquire to uncover the perspectives of single Latina doctoral student mothers and Latina doctoral student mothers who are not employed fulltime; qualitative research to examine the impact of Latina doctoral student mother role-modeling for educational achievement.



academic mothers, doctoral student mothers, latina doctoral students, latina mothers, latina mothers in higher education



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