The Latina Doctoral Student Experience: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study




Flores, Andrea

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Latinas continue to be underrepresented in doctoral studies, and there are many barriers that they encounter while pursuing a doctoral degree. This qualitative phenomenological study documents the experiences, challenges, and life events that Latina doctoral students face while pursuing a doctoral degree. The primary research question guiding the dissertation is: What are the experiences faced by Latinas as they transition in and through doctoral studies, what supports and strategies do they report needing? This study is unique because there is very limited research on Latina doctoral students and no research on this population was located that utilizes a conceptual framework integrating Schlossberg’s (1981) transition theory and Yosso’s (2005) community cultural wealth model. Data sources included interviews and critical incident analysis for nine participants enrolled in doctoral studies. Findings are organized under each sub research question through a discussion of themes that were identified from the interviews. Study findings add to the body of literature on how life events affect progress and completion as well as understanding the supports and strategies surrounding the Latina doctoral student. This study makes significant contributions to the research on the Latina doctoral student and more generally, on women participating in doctoral education. By adding to such understanding, this study draws recommendations for higher education institutions to identify areas where they may need to plan and implement educational resources and other support programs that address the needs of the Latina student.



Latina, doctoral students, experiences, challenges, life events, higher education, transition, community cultural wealth


Flores, A. (2023). The Latina doctoral student experience: A qualitative phenomenological study (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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