Single Welfare-Reliant Mothers Student Identity Development Academic Article uri icon


  • Single welfare-reliant mothers are a unique disadvantaged student population that requires investigation to inform practices that enable their persistence in post-secondary education. The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe single welfare-reliant mothers' identity development experiences that impacted career choice and decisions to access and persist in post-secondary education as sole providers. This study answered the question, "what was the essence of six single welfare-reliant mothers' experiences in their life course from poverty to post-secondary education that influenced their perspectives as learners?" This study utilized a phenomenological methodology supported by a developmental life course framework and women's identity development theory. The major findings identified (a) children as primary anchors, (b) exploration and commitment of possible future identities in identity development, and (c) identity markers that contributed to persistence in post-secondary education and career goals. Common Ground.

published proceedings

  • The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities

author list (cited authors)

  • McPherson, R., & Alfred, M.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • McPherson, Rebecca||Alfred, Mary

publication date

  • January 2014