The purpose of this study was to explore and to understand the daily life experiences of 8 women doctoral students who were in pursuit of their doctorates. A partially mixed concurrent dominant status design was utilized in this study embedded within a mixed methods phenomenological research lens and driven by a critical dialectical pluralistic philosophical stance. Specifically, these 8 students were interviewed individually to examine their lived experiences as doctoral students. The interview responses then were subjected to a sequential mixed analysis that was characterized by 2 qualitative analyses (i.e., constant comparison analysis, classical content analysis) and 1 quantitative analysis (i.e., correspondence analysis). The 2 qualitative analyses revealed the following 3 metathemes: adjustment (how these doctoral students made necessary accommodations with regard to all aspects of their lives), which comprised the themes of time management, interaction, belief, and lifestyle; encouragement (circumstances that motivated them to pursue their doctoral degrees), which comprised the themes of intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation; and discouragement (circumstances that demotivated them from pursuing their doctoral degrees), which comprised the themes of internal discouragement and external discouragement. The correspondence analysis revealed a fourth metatheme, namely, marital status (separating the single students from the married/divorced students), which comprised the themes of locus of motivation and locus of discouragement. Seven of these women doctoral students struggled to balance either dual roles (i.e., as doctoral students and wives/mothers, or as doctoral students and professionals) or triple roles (i.e., as doctoral students, wives/mothers, and professionals). Implications of the findings are discussed.


Women Doctoral Students, CriticalDialectical Pluralism, Mixed Methods, Mixed Research, Mixed MethodsPhenomenological Research, Descriptive Phenomenology

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.