Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Paper presented at the 45th annual meeting of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, October 22-24, 2014, Trumbull, CT


This multi-phase phenomenological study explored doctoral graduates‟ perceptions of self, identity and adjustment in the post-dissertation phase, using Neugarten‟s (1978) Adult Development Theory and Lachman‟s (2004) Midlife Development Theory to frame the findings. This third and final phase probed doctoral degree graduates‟ personal reflections and „crossroad‟ stories to highlight the commonalities of this adjustment phase for all participants. While considerable research has been conducted on currently enrolled doctoral students, it has focused predominantly on Ph.D. graduates (Baird, 1997; D‟Andrea, 2002; Di Pierro, 2007). Minimal research, however, has been conducted on Ed.D. graduates, already actively engaged as working professionals, where the issues of personal accomplishment and achievement, loss, isolation, identity, role clarity, and professional recognition were examined through the lens of the „lived experience‟ of purposefully selected participants from a small Ed.D. program in the northeast. Moustakas (1994) phenomenological analysis strategies, overlapping with Neugarten‟s (1978) and Lachman‟s (2004) theoretical frames, guided the primary data analysis and interpretation. Results may further illuminate the ways in which EdD staff and faculty can support EdD graduates with customized programs and services as they assume new leadership roles as scholar-practitioners in their professional fields.



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