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Academic dual-career couples lifetyle affects on careers in academe
Baker, Karen Cardell Parrish

2004, Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University, Educational Policy and Leadership.
This exploratory qualitative research sought to understand how dual-career couple factors affect faculty couples’ academic careers. Although there is a great deal written about academic careers and dual-career couples, there is limited literature on academic dual-career couples. This investigation focused on the perceptions and experiences of six purposefully selected dual- career academic couples at six schools in a greater Midwestern metropolitan region. The goal was to understand the interaction between dual-career lifestyles and the complex forces that impact their career development over time when one or both were in the establishment stage of their careers. According to Schein (1996), a dual-career lifestyle defines couples’ self-concepts as they seek to coherently integrate two careers and two sets of personal and family concerns into an overall pattern that supports both the personal and professional dimensions of their lives. Respondents’ perceived critical events, concerns, adjustments and strategies were documented from twelve semi-structured individual and six grounded couple interviews; archival documents (curriculum vitae and institutional websites), and demographic survey data over a nine year period (1994-2003). The content analysis focused on the mesosystem between personal, interpersonal and professional domains which occurred in tandem during each couples’ development as individuals, families and academics over time. While these couples’ critical events mostly paralleled those of non-dual career faculties, their experiences appeared to be more keenly impacted by six thematic concerns about time and timing, maintenance money, location and proximity, professional identity, support and scholarship, and relationship issues the impact of their relationships on their careers. When one partner’s career clearly was more advanced, the consequences for the junior members were more dramatic because his/her career decisions were influenced by those made by the more experienced academic in the relationship. However, when couples’ careers were closer in development, couples tended to make more egalitarian decisions by considering the impact of both careers in the short and long run. In light of the increasing dual-career academic couple trend and anticipated turnover for an aging faculty, this study contributes to a better understanding of the interplay between linked academic lives and their impact on career development and decisions over time.
Leonard Baird (Advisor)
274 p.

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Baker, K. (2004). Academic dual-career couples lifetyle affects on careers in academe. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from

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Baker, Karen. "Academic dual-career couples lifetyle affects on careers in academe." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2004. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 26 May 2018.

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Baker, Karen "Academic dual-career couples lifetyle affects on careers in academe." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2004.


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