Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Susan Rodger


Research has demonstrated that female faculty members face barriers impacting advancement in leadership and satisfaction. With a rise in the number of women occupying higher ranks in the academy, the objective of the study was to gain an updated and deeper understanding of the factors that influence academic women’s mental health and the environments that support their wellbeing both personally and professionally. Female professors were interviewed on their definitions and personal experiences with work-life balance, success, stress, mental health, support and satisfaction. This study fills the gap of past literature by exploring their thoughts, feelings, and attitudes about why they assess certain external factors as stressful; how they cope with stressors and attempt to reduce their negative impacts; and their views of effective mentorship in academia. Most significant was women’s gratitude for being heard and need for supportive relationships. Feminist and Relational-cultural perspectives identified implications for university administrators and mental health practitioners.

Keywords: relational cultural, feminism, female academic, professor, stress, mental health, connection, work-life balance, support, relationship