Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology


Educational Psychology

Advisor 1

Paul Jones, Committee Co-Chair

Advisor 2

Leann Putney, Committee Co-Chair

First Committee Member

Lori Olafson

Graduate Faculty Representative

Martha Young

Number of Pages



The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine how fourteen women between the ages of thirty-five and fifty years old experienced the essence of making a midlife career change. Of further interest were the unique dimensions of each participant in their experience of this internal process of change. This study was an exploratory and inductive search for common themes and differences that these women shared throughout their experience of making a midlife career change.

Semi-structured interviews were conducted and thematic analysis was made by the construction of profile narratives for each participant. Five emerging themes were extracted from the data in accordance with the initial research questions posed within this dissertation.

Results indicate that the overarching theme of timing was consistent amongst all 14 participants of the study. The four sub-themes which include: quality of life, role model for children and nieces, confidence/empowerment, and self-efficacy were other reasons why women had made a midlife career change. The emerging themes and the results that were concluded from the data enabled the reaching of some conclusions as to why women make midlife career changes and the implications for future research.


Career change; Middle age; Midlife; Women


Developmental Psychology | Women's Studies

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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