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ERIC Number: ED536015
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 388
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2670-6254-3
Intersections of Race, SES, and First-Generation College Student Status in Understanding the Factors Affecting Undergraduate Academic Persistence: A Psychosociocultural Approach
Lin, Mariko Medallada
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
While college campuses nationwide continue to grow in diversity with increased enrollment of students from minority backgrounds, national patterns continue to reveal educational inequities in the retention rates of racial/ethnic minorities. Additionally, socioeconomic factors of family income and parental educational level further complicate issues concerning the long-standing existence of the achievement gap. Subsequently, this study integrated both a sociological and psychological and sociological approach to understanding the factors that facilitate and hinder the college-going processes for students and the intersections of their diverse identities. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the applicability of a culturally-relevant model of academic persistence with 530 undergraduates attending a large, public pre-dominantly White institution. Results from this study included the different factors affecting the educational experiences of undergraduates by race/ethnicity, SES, and first-generation college student status. Notable differences included all majority groups within the three sociodemographic categories studied reported possessing more college capital upon entry into college. Additionally, White students and continuing-generation college students reported having increased college self-efficacy in comparison to their minority peers. In assessment of the relationships between the emergent constructs, the variables within the psychosociocultural (PSC) dimensions and perceived social status variables were significantly related to each other. Furthermore, the proposed culturally-relevant model of academic persistence was examined with 195 racial/ethnic minority (REM) students and 265 White students. The path analyses conducted demonstrated the PSC dimensions and the perceived social status construct were all predictive of undergraduates' commitment to the institution and their degree completion. More specifically, the psychological dimension of self-beliefs was the strongest predictor for REM undergraduates while comfort in the university environment had the strongest direct effect on academic persistence for Whites undergraduates. In addition, the findings demonstrated social support with the highest correlations to the strongest predictors of academic persistence for both White and REM students. Follow-up analyses were also conducted to measure the predictive strengths of the variables representative of academic persistence. Last, the limitations of this study, directions for future research and theory on academic persistence, and implications for individual and institutional change in higher education are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A