Date of Award



© 2021 Emilie R. Bartolucci

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Jacqueline Lookabaugh

Second Advisor

Andrea Disque

Third Advisor

David J. Totaro


The purpose of this study was to understand the elements that foster or prevent a sense of social belongingness and well-being among home care aides working in the United States through qualitative narrative inquiry, and which factors motivate those working in this profession to continue to do so for the long-term. Dewey’s theory of experience served as the study’s underlying conceptual framework, and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Herzberg’s two-factor theory of motivation served as the companion theoretical building blocks. Analysis in this qualitative narrative study yielded four major themes from the participants’ restoried narratives associated with sense of belonging, well-being, and motivation for longevity in the role as a home care aide. The four major themes included relationships, recognition, social good, and organization. While participants overwhelmingly chose to enter the profession out of necessity, their choice to stay was rooted firmly in the social connections they formed. The home care aides formed deep, family-like bonds with their patients and peers, thus establishing social responsibility and purpose in their work. Cultivating and leveraging these bonds in the home care aide’s role may be integral to improving their long-term sense of belonging and well-being and may serve as powerful motivators by which to help them overcome other negative elements of experience. The findings of this study may be useful to home care industry leaders and policymakers, government officials, and healthcare leaders.


Ed.D. Dissertation