UNDERSTANDING THE PERSPECTIVES OF THE SPOUSES OF BLACK DOCTORAL STUDENTS
Jones, Angela L.
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The purpose of this study was to understand the perspectives of spouses of Black doctoral students during the completion of their program, and to understand how being in a marriage with a doctoral student influences future relational decisions. After an indepth review of literature, this study assisted in gathering the experiences of the participants by utilizing a transcendental phenomenological qualitative method. This method was implemented by utilizing interviews, focus groups, and photographic documentation. Using Moustakas’s (1994) method for conducting a qualitative transcendental phenomenological study, interview data was prepared for analyzing data and reporting results. Four meta-themes were derived after carefully coding transcriptions, and chunking common themes to describe the phenomenon: (a) marital roles, (b) the potential of more money, (c) support/coping strategies, and (d) time spent together. The first meta-theme represents the marital roles that were identified by spouses and include the subthemes of (a) lack of time and (b) financial difficulties. The second theme described how the participants’ spouse’s education might help by making more money for the household. The third meta-theme described how the participants supported their spouses in school and coped with the changes in their marriages. Finally, the last meta-theme included categorized how the participants experienced the changes in time spent with their spouse now that was enrolled in a doctoral program, and included the subthemes of: (a) intimacy issues and (b) more quality time.