Juggling between maternal and student role : multiple role adaptation among women who are re-entering school in Taiwan

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Lin, Li-ling

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There are an increasing number of Taiwanese women who are married with children and who are going back to school. Many of them are nurses. The purpose of this study was to use Roy’s Adaptation Model to assess multiple role adaptation between maternal and student roles among women who had children and re-entered nursing schools in Taiwan. Relationships between multiple role adaptation (role accumulation) and demographic (i.e., number of children, age of the youngest child, employment status), and physical (i.e., rest, health perception, activity), and psychosocial factors (i.e., self-identity, role expectation, role involvement, social support) were explored.
A cross-section correlational design was used in this study. A total of 118 mother students who had at least one child under 18 years old and were studying in nursing programs were included in the study. The Pearson product-moment correlations showed that five variables had significant relationships with role accumulation. The highest correlation was found between activity and role accumulation following by sleep quality, health perception, maternal role expectation, and age of the youngest child. In assessing relationships among variables representing the four modes, 12 out of 36 relationships were statistically significant. In the regression analyses, all 12 predictors together explained 46% of the variance in role accumulation. When all 12 predictors were entered into a regression model, three were significant: activity, sleep quality, and maternal role expectation.
Based on the findings, implications and recommendations for nursing education and administration were proposed. Health care providers as well as nursing educators need to be aware of these mother students’ difficulties in dealing with multiple role situations. A well designed nursing curriculum and flexible employment opportunities can help these mother students to reduce their barriers in returning to school. Future studies are needed in order to have further understanding of mother students’ multiple role adaptation.




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