Higher education studies and pregnancy: Challenges and balances
Pregnancy and childbirth are experienced as physical and psychological challenges for most women. Drawing upon the McClusky's theory of margin, we developed a 5-point Likert response scale questionnaire and collected data from 29 pregnant and parenting Pakistani graduate students studying in Beijing, China. Descriptive statistical analysis techniques and a number of generated formulas based on the theory of margin were applied to the questionnaire to examine family, social, academic, financial, physical and personal factors affecting pregnant students. We also used McClusky’s theory to analyse the questionnaire responses. Our results indicate that the margin (M=L/P) values were greater for support of husband and family, which are the largest sources of power for pregnant graduate Pakistani students. The calculated values of power were greater than those of load for the six factors, resulting into margin values of less than 1 for all these factors (family=0.379, academic=0.73, social=0.74, financial=0.633, physical and self=0.877). The study has implications for future research in terms of finding more plausible measures to load, power and margin in higher education, and for policy of higher education to incorporate psychological factors of pregnant graduate students.