Achievement motivation in women: some consequences for familial and professional careers

Press, Marjorie Jean Puddester (1970) Achievement motivation in women: some consequences for familial and professional careers. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The present study attempts to delineate the components of achievement motivation, both as it assumes the form of a cultural norm and also as it becomes manifest as a need within the personality structure due to the emphasis placed on this norm in the familial, educational and economic institutions. An examination is made of McClelland's theory of achievement motivation and, having determined that his need Achievement concept is too limited, an attempt is made to develop a parallel theory of motivation for women, namely, a theory of vicarious achievement motivation. -- In North American society the achievement motive is ambiguous and poorly defined, hence a further investigation is made to determine whether or not those college women who are high on achievement motivation will anticipate a greater degree of conflict between marital and professional career roles at time of marriage than will those women who are low on this need. The achievement need then, together with the needs for dominance, succorance, and nurturance, are examined as a source of influence on occupational affiliation. In determining the possibility of specific personality heeds acting as a differentiating factor between familial and occupational career orientations, the author also attempts to assess the relative potential of the sociological versus the psychological approach for future refinements to current theories of human motivation. Consideration is then given to the nature of the prominence and salience hierarchies of role identities for women both as they relate to the perception of role conflict and, as they relate to vicarious achievement motivation as opposed to achievement motivation in the McClelland context. This involves an investigation of the hypothesis that women enrolled in the subsidiary, expressive role type of professions such as Nursing, Social Welfare and Primary Education would be more highly oriented toward the traditional wife-mother role identities than would those women enrolled in the more demanding, instrumental type of professions such as Science or High School Teaching. Utilizing the subjective career concept, a heuristic model depicting the development of role conflict perception is then outlined. -- Finally, attention is focused on the effects of achievement motivation on preferences for life styles. This consideration is made within the framework of Bates' original treatment of the position and role concepts. The possibility of various modifications to life plans assuming the form of a mode of role conflict reduction is discussed. This necessitated an examination of the 'field of eligibles' for women who are high on need Achievement, together with types of accommodations to familial and occupational careers by such means as: delayed age at marriage, postponement or limitation of familial composition, and/or the choice of a profession which is subsidiary rather than competitive to the profession of the preferred mate. In the light of R, F. Winch's theory of complementary needs the author assesses just how realistically college women perceive their future preferences for an ideal mate. In conclusion, consideration is given to the role(s) of the single individual who chooses not to marry, together with the implications for future marriage-career trends in the cybernetic era.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7209
Item ID: 7209
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 125-133.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Sociology
Date: 1970
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Achievement motivation; Women--Employment

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