Constance Tucker Dissertation Final Defense

The College of Education, Health and

Human Sciences

Announces the Final Examination of

Constance R. Tucker

for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

March 31, 2015 at 11:00 am

BH103 Ball Hall, University of Memphis

Memphis, TN

Biographical Sketch

B.A., French/Pre-Med, Washington University in St. Louis

M.A., Student Affairs in Higher Education, University of Iowa

Advisory Committee

Christian Mueller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Committee Chair, Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research, Committee chair

Yeh Hsueh, Ed.D., Associate Professor, Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research

Denise Winsor, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research

Vicki Murrell, Ph.D., Instructor, Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research

Major Field of Study

Educational Psychology

Period of Preparation: 2010 – 2015

Comprehensive Examination Passed: August 2011

The lion’s storyteller: Underrepresented minority students’ use of psychological needs to persist


URM students’ educational persistence to health careers is hindered by numerous demographic, social, and motivational barriers. The current study examines how motivational variables, specifically the satisfaction of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, impact URM health students’ educational persistence.   This study assesses (a) what psychological needs are satisfied when URM students participate in supportive academic and social experiences; (b) how need satisfaction supports URM students’ abilities to persist in the face of challenge; and (c) the extent in which previous research and the current study are confirmatory or contradictory? The current qualitative study utilizes storytelling and photo-elicited interview, memo writing, and previous literature to explore five URM students’ experiences as they persist to health careers. Narrative inquiry, semiotics, and constructivist grounded theory meta-analysis were used to develop five case studies, eight study themes, and one meta-analysis. These results provide a more comprehensive view of the URM health student educational persistence experience.

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