Individual, Familial, and Cultural Factors as Predictors of College Adjustment and Achievement
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The purpose of this study was to assess individual, familial, and cultural factors as predictors of college adjustment and achievement. Specifically, we examined the extent to which self-esteem, ethnic identity, acculturation, parental education, parental support, and peer support predicted adjustment and academic achievement during the first year of college. To recruit our participants, the Office of Institutional Research (OIR) sent an email to second semester freshmen (N = 2,459) enrolled at Texas State in Spring 2005 asking them to complete our online survey. A total of 945 college freshmen responded; however, in order to focus on "traditional" college freshmen, 18 subjects were excluded from our analysis because they were over the age of 19. The total sample was comprised of 26.6% males and 73.4% females, ranging in age from 17 to 19, with a mean age of 18.4. The sample was 74.8% White, 20.5% Hispanic, and 4.7% Black, consistent with the ethnic distribution of the university. In Fall 2005, a sub-sample of successful students (n=22), those who maintained a grade point average of 2.0 and higher, participated in a series of focus groups. Separate focus groups were conducted with White, African American, and Hispanic students in order to encourage discussion of sensitive issues that may not have been as easily addressed in heterogeneous groups. Furthermore, the focus groups allowed us to explore in greater depth how these variables related to their adjustment and achievement.