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A Woman's Passage: Negotiating an Extraordinary Transition in Mid-Life Open Access


Other title
faith and theology
Woman in mid-life transition
Type of item
Degree grantor
St. Stephen's College
Author or creator
Elizabeth Helena Short
Supervisor and department
Dr. Jean Waters
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Veronica Dunne
Dr. Julie Algra
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Theological Studies (Honours)
Degree level
When a major life change occurs, we can find ourselves in uncharted territory or transitions. Old assumptions no longer hold true, but our new reality has yet to be discovered. This study looks at difficult transitions for women in mid-life. This, potentially, is a time in a woman’s life where many predictable changes are already calling into question, “who am I?” This work examines how women have coped with a difficult and unpredicted change. The qualitative research method of narrative inquiry was used. Four women, who had experienced different challenging mid-life transitions, joined me as co-researchers. They took part in three group discussions and one individual interview. These women were chosen because they had successfully negotiated their transition and had the ability to be articulate and thoughtful about their experience. The research drew from literature pertaining to both transition and women in mid-life. As well I drew upon my own experience of a challenging mid-life transition. Within the study it was necessary to define transition, and this was derived from the works of William Bridges. The purpose was to move from a definition to look at ways women have been successful in negotiating the experience of transition, looking at resources drawn upon, external and internal. Weaving its way throughout the work was the theological thread. I have shared my personal theology which is transitional in nature and examined how faith had played a role in the co-researchers’ transitions and how their transitions had affected their faith. The goal of the study is to learn ways in which to encourage others going through difficult life transitions.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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