Factors that contribute to the creative achievement of women

Annette Conticello Tuzzo, Fordham University


The purpose of this investigation was to identify the factors that contribute to the creative achievement of 25 women. Each woman had a distinguished record of volunteerism on Staten Island. These women introduced new programs or institutions to underserved groups in the community. Most of the women found their mother's influence to be paramount in their early development. Family support from their husbands and children also was an important condition that contributed to the women's success. In addition, the women found inspiration from associates whom they met in their work. From these participants' perspectives, important creative personality characteristics were the ability to connect to people, to take risks, and to persevere in one's goals. Although the majority of the women stated that a creative person had to confront prejudice and bias in the culture, these women chose traditional careers in nursing, teaching, and secretarial work. They advanced to managerial positions in their volunteer and/or paid work later in their lives. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's (1997) Interview Protocol from the book Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention was used, with permission, in this study. This researcher created this questionnaire which was used in this study. The interviews were audiotaped and transcripts were created of the participants' responses. The responses to the research questions were analyzed qualitatively. From their responses, six themes were identified. These themes were the participants' perspectives of the reasons for their success, the ways the women thought of themselves as creative, the factors that affected their creative work, the factors that facilitated or hindered the women's creative achievement, the strategies used by the women to overcome obstacles, and the consequences of the women's creative achievement. The most common responses to the six themes were the factors that helped or hindered the women's creative achievement. Overall, one singular theme that emerged was that the culture created obstacles for the women; however, all of the participants were able to overcome these obstacles. There was a wide range of responses to all of the research questions. In other words, there were 25 different reasons stated by the participants for each research question. More research is needed on creative achievement of women.

Subject Area

Womens studies|Academic guidance counseling

Recommended Citation

Tuzzo, Annette Conticello, "Factors that contribute to the creative achievement of women" (2007). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3255069.