Successful Navigation of the Conflict between Doctoral Education and Cultural Expectations of Child Rearing in Hispanic Culture


Rebecca Garza

Date of Award


Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Lavita Nadkarni

First Committee Member

Andrea Godinez

Second Committee Member

Henrietta Pazos


Student-parents; Case study; Qualitative Research; Behavior/CBT; Doctoral education; Collectivistic cultures


While the numbers are slowly rising, Hispanic students continue to be disproportionately underrepresented in all levels of higher education, including doctoral education. There are many factors that may contribute to the low numbers of Hispanic doctoral students; for Hispanic women, one of these factors may be the perceived conflict between cultural expectations of childrearing and doctoral education. For Hispanic students who hold strong cultural values, this conflict may prevent enrollment in, or result in attrition from, doctoral education. As the number of Hispanic college enrollment increases, we will see more students trying to navigate between the collectivistic value of childrearing and the individualistic value of pursuing higher education. Thus, it is important to understand the needs of these students to aid in recruitment and retention of student-parents in all levels of higher education. This paper explores the barriers and supportive factors for current Hispanic doctoral student-parents. Suggestions are made to increase support which will allow these individuals to successfully complete a doctoral education, while attending to the responsibilities of parenting.


Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


42 pages

Paper Method

Case Study

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