Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


The purpose of this study was to determine factors of family support associated with the self-esteem of women over the age of 35 who were enrolled in selected Louisiana colleges and universities. This research was part of a larger project "Women Returning to School: Self-Esteem and Family Factors" which was conducted through the Agricultural Experiment Station at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. The sample consisted of 500 randomly selected women students born in or before 1946 who were enrolled in four Louisiana universities and colleges located in the southeast part of the state (excluding law, medical, and dental schools, and theological seminaries). The data from 211 (42.2%) usable responses were described and analyzed using frequency distributions, means, standard deviations, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients, chi-square, and multiple regression analysis. As determined by the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (1965), the majority of mature women respondents in this study had high self-esteem levels. This conclusion was based on the finding that 71% of the respondents had high self-esteem (0-1 scores). Four hypotheses were investigated using multiple regression analysis with three having statistically significant explanatory factors of the variance in self-esteem. Relative to hypothesis one, assistance with outdoor activities was found to be a significant factor (F = 5.67, p < .05) when regressed on the dependent variable self-esteem. Concerning hypothesis three, self-confidence was found to be a significant factor (F = 27.01, p < .05). Available alternatives was found to be a significant factor (F = 6.64, p < .05) in relation to hypothesis four. In reference to the family's reaction to college entry, the two variables of self-esteem of the respondents and the children's reaction to the respondent's college entry were examined. The calculated chi-square was significant (x = 6.15, p < .05) which indicated that the two variables were not independent. Those respondents that had support from their children tended to have high self-esteem and those that had no support from their children tended to have low self-esteem.