Supports and recommendations for pregnant and newly parenting doctoral students in health professions
Journal of Social Work Education
Female doctoral students with children face significant barriers to successful program completion, leaving programs at higher rates than students without children. This qualitative study (N=28) explored female doctoral students’ experiences with institutional and programmatic supports during their pregnancy and transition to parenthood within social work (n=16) and other professional health care fields (n=12). Results highlight the availability of specific formal supports such as leave of absence, lactation space, and childcare as important. Due to a lack of formal supports, many used informal supports. Finally, recommendations for doctoral programs are provided. Addressing the needs of parenting students may result in beneficial outcomes for both students and institutions by increasing opportunities for academic success and lowering attrition rates.
Link to Published Version
Wladkowski, S. P., & Mirick, R. G. (2020). Supports and recommendations for pregnant and newly parenting doctoral students in health professions. Journal of Social Work Education, 56(2), 312–326. https://doi.org/10.1080/10437797.2019.1656580