Marital status and midlife: Perceptions of early parenting and perceptions of self

Kristine A. Bertini (1995)

This dissertation study is an exploratory comparative investigation regarding single, married and divorced midlife women. The underlying hypothesis that is being examined in this work is that women who perceive themselves to have been neglected during childhood by their primary caregiver are less likely to be married at midlife than their peers and more likely to have poor self perception. Specific variables under consideration pertaining to the midlife woman include marital status, perceptions of self, and perceptions of early parenting. This dissertation begins with an introduction and a case example. Following this introduction a review of the representative literature is provided. Included in this review is literature regarding midlife, women and midlife, single women and midlife, self perception, and early parenting. A quasi experimental design with one way analysis of variance is used in this research to compare and study single, married and divorced midlife women. Findings in this study do not support the hypothesis that there is a relationship between one's perception of early parental affection/neglect, one's self perception, and marital status. The hypothesis and methods are examined in a discussion to determine if alternative means may have been more effective in increasing the study's results. References and appendices are included. It is hoped that this research study will serve to increase knowledge of women's psychological experience during midlife.