Social Support and Sense of Community for Mature Age Women Studying Psychology

By Ruth Ayres and Andrew M. Guilfoyle.

Published by The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores adult learning in professional learning context using a descriptive phenomenological approach (Moustakas, 1994) to understand experiences of support for 10 women aged between 40-49 years studying psychology. Participants took part in a semi-structured interview and reported a need to feel acknowledged by the university. Recommendations for design of learning environments and transitions programs are discussed in the context of universities encouraging diverse student populations, high attrition rates, amongst mature age female students, and students experiencing a complex relationship around expectations driven by their motivations, their ability to cope with the academic workload and manage family roles (Scott, Burns & Cooney, 1998).

Keywords: Theme: Learner Diversity and Identities, Mature Age Female Students, Adult Learning, Life-stage

The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp.29-43. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 231.431KB).

Ruth Ayres

Master's Graduate, School of Psychology and Social Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia

Assoc. Prof. Andrew M. Guilfoyle

Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology and Social Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia

Dr. Andrew Guilfoyle (PhD) is a senior lecturer in the School of Psychology and Social Science at Edith Cowan University. Andrew has published over fifty peer reviewed publications, completed several large scale national and regional funded projects and regularly presents this work at international forums. His research is focused on developing sustainable services for social inclusion of Indigenous communities and CaLD populations. He works within a constructionist, participatory, locational, community based approach.