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Title:Sex Differences in Career Development, Professional Participation and Perceptions of the Mentoring and Collegial Relationships of Directors of Illinois Community Mental Health Centers
Author(s):Skarjune, Jean Anne Benacker
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Educational Psychology
Abstract:This study examined differences in the career and professional experiences of men and women holding leadership roles in community mental health in an effort to provide an explanation for the underrepresentation of women in these roles. It was hypothesized that male and female executive directors of community mental health centers would differ with respect to career determinants, career patterns, professional participation, and receipt of mentoring functions. Male executive directors were expected to exceed the women in all areas except internal mobility and emotional support. A second purpose of the study was to obtain information on executive directors' careers and collegial relationships in order to provide a basis for further investigations of this occuptional group.
Subjects were 20 male and 20 female executive directors who were matched on educational background, administrative experience, and agency size. They were drawn from a population of 109 executive directors (84 male and 25 female) in the State of Illinois. Subjects responded to surveys and participated in structured interviews. Sex differences in mentors' contributions were assessed using a system of mentoring functions developed for the study. T-tests, chi-square tests, and correlational analyses were performed on the data.
The results failed to support hypothesized sex differences, with women executive directors reporting career experiences which were highly similar to those of men. Male and female executive directors did not differ in rates of advancement or internal mobility, timing of interest in administration, levels of professional participation, or amount of sponsorship, emotional support, or social contact provided by mentors. Additional analyses indicated significant sex differences on personal variables (marital status and number of children) and suggested a trade-off on home and career variables for women executive directors. A significant sex difference was also demonstrated in the number of higher status colleagues in directors' networks, with the women directors reporting more higher status colleagues than the men. Attitudes toward hiring women directors and women's reduced aspirations for achievement were suggested as alternative explanations for the lack of women executive directors in community mental health.
Issue Date:1985
Description:178 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8521881
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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