Campus Access Only

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Delores McNair

First Committee Member

Norena Badway

Second Committee Member

Harriett Arnold

Third Committee Member

Richard McClendon


This research explored the perceived factors that influenced the decisions of single and married mothers to enroll or not enroll in post-secondary education. The study then investigated the relationship between educational level and income for single mothers in Utah. From a survey of 1197 Utah mothers, this study concluded that mothers enroll in post-secondary education out of desire and necessity, and there is a relationship between an educational attainment level of a Bachelor's degree of higher and the ability of a single mother to gain economic stability. Specifically, single mothers enroll in post-secondary education for financial reasons while married mothers enroll more often for personal improvement. Family and friends are important supports for mothers who decide to enroll in post-secondary education. Time is a perceived barrier for single and married mothers who decide not to enroll in post-secondary education, and money is a barrier for single mothers who decide not to enroll in post-secondary education. Married mothers in this research would enroll in post-secondary education if a life event required them to become the financial provider for the family. Strategies for dealing with insufficient income sometimes vary by educational level of the single mothers in this research. However, assets, sufficient income and money left over at the end of the month are significantly different depending on educational level, most often the Bachelor's degree or higher. Lastly, while to no significant difference was found between the employment rate and educational level of single mothers in this research, significance was found between the educational level and income of single mothers.





To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.

Find in PacificSearch Find in ProQuest



If you are the author and would like to grant permission to make your work openly accessible, please email


Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).