Wonder-women: case studies of pregnant university students - change and transition.

Poffley, Cara
Gilkison, Andrea
Bone, Jane
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Master of Education
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Auckland University of Technology

Changes have occurred within educational settings over the past 30 years, creating a more equal learning environment for women. Despite the fact that women aged 18-39 years now outnumber men within New Zealand universities, there is still evidence of inequality for pregnant university students.A qualitative case-study approach was used to explore and describe the stages and patterns of transition from being a university student to becoming a pregnant university student. Each woman demonstrated the complexity of the transitions. The pregnant body and becoming visible were factors that impacted on all five women who participated in this study. The case studies describe how pregnancy intervened in the experience of being a student.Various coping mechanisms were employed by these pregnant university students. The research suggests that they find balance through compartmentalizing aspects of their lives. They attribute educational and personal outcomes to luck. These strategies have enabled these women to aim for educational or personal success. Yet it remains clear that the university does not provide adequate support for these pregnant university students. Policies and resources need to be established to aid pregnant university students in this process of transition.

Qualitative case study , The pregnant body , Becoming visible , Compartmentalizing , Being lucky , Equity
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