Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Women college teachers-Social conditions, Women college teachers-Job stress, College teachers-Tenure, Interpersonal relations, Satisfaction, Work and family, Female, Women, Professors, Tenure-track, Romantic relationships, Relationship satisfaction, Job demands


This empirical study surveyed seventy-six female professors who hold tenure-track positions at eleven eastern Pennsylvania colleges and universities. The participants ranged in age from 20's to 60's and varied in race. While there is literature regarding women's relationship satisfaction and job satisfaction, there is a lack of literature about the personal lives of this specific population in relation to their career demands. The study was designed to investigate this population's perceived satisfaction levels in romantic relationships and to determine the relationship statuses of the group that was surveyed. Grounded theory methodology was used in order to generate an understanding of the overarching themes and struggles of the population. This study was conducted in order to be a springboard for future research on a topic that lacks literature. A career in academia is demanding in many ways (particularly time-demanding), and this study revealed that over 70% these women devote forty-six hours or more per week on average to their careers as tenure-track professors. While the methodology of this study was mostly quantitative, two open-ended qualitative questions were included in the survey in order to get deeper understanding of the relationship between personal romantic relationships and family life and tenure-track professorship for women. These open-ended questions produced a lot of texture in the qualitative findings including several strong themes about professors' feelings about the impacts of their careers on having children and on their romantic lives.




iv, 63 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 47-55)