Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counseling and Personnel

First Advisor

Dr. Robert L. Betz

Second Advisor

Dr. Dale Brethower

Third Advisor

Dr. Thelma Urbick


The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between adult women's perceptions of their sex role and their level of achievement. Sex role was defined by the scores achieved on the Bem Sex-Role Inventory (BSRI), and achievement level was based on an index of education, work role, and salary. It was hypothesized that a significant relationship exists between levels of achievement and self-reported masculine (instrumental) and feminine (expressive) characteristics.

A random sample of 100 females was selected from membership roles (N = 600) in the Kalamazoo Network, Kalamazoo, Michigan, a high-achieving women's group. Seventy-five (75) usable returns provided the data based for the study. Three levels of achievement--high, medium, and low--were established. Chi-square analyses indicated no significant differences between levels of achievement based on education, salary, age, and marital status; significant differences related to years of experience were evident.

An examination of Spearman rho correlations (p = (+OR-) < .05) indicated a significant relationship between levels of achievement and self-reported masculine/feminine characteristics. Women who perceived themselves to have more instrumental characteristics were also higher achievers. Women in the lower achievement levels perceived themselves as more expressive.

It was concluded that as women report higher achievement levels they tend to perceive themselves as having more instrumental traits without losing their traditional expressive traits. It appears that lower-achieving females perceive themselves as having a higher expressive orientation than the higher-achieving-level females.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Counseling Commons