Sex-role stereotype, self-concept, education and experience: do they influence decision-making?

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of self-concept, sex-role stereotype, educational preparation and years of experience upon the nurse's attitudes regarding decision-making. The Joseph Decision-making Tool (JDMT) was designed by the investigator to measure nurses' attitudes regarding decision-making. The tool consists of 20 scenarios in which the subject is asked to make a decision regarding a patient problem. Having an alpha reliability of 0.79, the JDMT was found to be exceedingly useful and easy to administer. Self-concept was measured by the BEM Scale. A heterogeneous population of female staff nurses working in medical-surgical units of two large metropolitan hospitals was used. A stepwise multiple regression technique was used to measure the potency of the particular variables in question. In a selected sample of 85 nurses, it was found that nurses with masculine sex-type scores and diploma education (P < 0.05) felt that nurses should assume responsibility for decision-making. Experience was found to have an inverse relationship (P < 0.01) with the JDMT. The more experience the nurse has, the less willing she is to make decisions. The majority of nurses (62%) who participated in the study were found to have androgynous rather than feminine sex-role stereotype scores. These two findings indicate changing trends in the traditional view of staff nurses. These new findings will assist nurses in changing the current image of a typically feminine nurse with a low self-concept. This study found strengths in nurses that are often overlooked by the feminists when they study nurses. © 1985.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

International Journal of Nursing Studies