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Nursing, leadership and the women’s liberation movement Dubin, Gloria Louise Joachim

Abstract

The concern with the need for leaders in the nursing profession as well as knowledge that many current nursing leaders advocate alliance with the Women's Liberation Movement, gave rise to the study of leadership characteristics, attitudes towards feminism, and the relationship between these in selected female populations. The samples chosen for study were thirty graduating baccalaureate nursing students, thirty members of organized groups of the Women's Liberation Movement, and as another comparison group, twenty four library science students. Five hypotheses concerning leadership characteristics and attitudes towards feminism were tested. The hypotheses were: 1. There is no significant difference in leadership characteristics, as measured by scores on the Gordon Personal Profile and the Gordon Personal Inventory, among students graduating from a baccalaureate nursing program, women belonging to organized groups of the Women's Liberation Movement, and students in a library science program. 2. There is no significant difference in attitudes towards feminism, as measured by the FEM scale, among students graduating from a baccalaureate nursing program, women belonging to organized groups of the Women's Liberation Movement, and students in a library science program. 3. There is no significant relationship between attitudes towards feminism, as measured by the FEM scale, and leadership characteristics, as measured by scores on the Gordon Personal Profile and the Gordon Personal Inventory, in graduating baccalaureate nursing students. There is no significant relationship between attitudes towards feminism, as measured by the FEM scale, and leadership characteristics, as measured by scores on the Gordon Personal Profile and the Gordon Personal Inventory, in women belonging to organized groups of the Women's Liberation Movement. 5. There is no significant relationship between attitudes towards feminism, as measured by the FEM scale, and leadership characteristics, as measured by scores on the Gordon Personal Profile and the Gordon Personal Inventory, in students of a library science program. No significant differences in leadership characteristics among the three groups were found. Significant differences in attitudes towards feminism were found with the members of the Women's Liberation Movement differing most from the other two groups. No significant relationships between leadership characteristics and attitudes towards feminism were found in any of the three groups. It was concluded that a belief in feminism does not cause leadership characteristics, and that leadership characteristics do not cause a belief in feminism. Similarly, any other variable common to the three groups could not be considered causal for both the possession of leadership characteristics and the expressed attitudes towards feminism.

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