Role perceptions of educated adult women: An exploratory study

Mary Sue Richardson, Judith Landon Alpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study was designed to investigate marriage, work, and motherhood role perceptions of 93 adult women who were mostly graduate students at a large urban university. A secondary purpose was to examine the interaction of age-role status variables and role perceptions. Three pictorial projective cues, each with a single role stimulus demand, were used to assess role perceptions. Stories told to cues were scored for presence of conflict, conflict theme, and outcome. Additionally, a single non-role-related cue was included. A high level of interrater agreement was obtained for the projective scoring system. Examination of scores for total sample by cue indicated that conflict was perceived most frequently in the marriage role cue, closely followed by the motherhood role cue. The work role was least likely to be perceived as conflictual Outcome scores, however, revealed that conflicts perceived in the motherhood role most frequently led to negative resolutions. Chi-square analysis indicated that role perceptions were independent of age-role status variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-185
Number of pages15
JournalEducational Gerontology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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