Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2014

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 2020-06-30

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Liu, William Ming

First Committee Member

Cochran, Sam V.

Second Committee Member

Nicpon, Megan Foley

Third Committee Member

Noonan, Mary

Fourth Committee Member

Westefeld, John


In the United States, over ninety percent of women take their husbands' last names when they marry; the remaining women keep, hyphenate, or alter their last name in some other way. Although many disciplines have examined this subject, counseling psychology has had little to say on the matter. This study investigates American women's naming decisions through the lens of the Social Cognitive Theory of Gender Development and Differentiation and seeks to shed light on its significance to counseling psychology. The qualitative methodology grounded theory is employed to examine the factors that contribute to naming choices as well as to better understand the psychological implications of such decisions. Findings suggest that naming decisions may impact identity, gender roles, partner relational concerns, family dynamics, empowerment, career issues, multicultural considerations, and power differentials, all of which are topics that are relevant for counseling psychologists. The discussion explores the relevance of this issue for women who are actively making, or have already made, a naming choice. Larger implications for the field of psychology are also considered.


counseling psychology, identity, naming, women


ix, 177 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 154-162).


Copyright 2014 Barbara C. Sieck

Available for download on Tuesday, June 30, 2020