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ERIC Number: ED547160
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 229
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2675-3404-0
ISSN: N/A
Thriving in College: The Role of Spirituality and Psychological Sense of Community in Students of Color
McIntosh, Eric James
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Azusa Pacific University
Despite increased access to higher education for previously underrepresented ethnic groups, the graduation rates of African Americans and Latinos in higher education pale in comparison to their Caucasian and Asian peers (Aud, Fox, & KewalRamani, 2010). In contrast, Asians are graduating at rates higher than Caucasians; however, the literature reveals the Asian student college experience as isolated and disconnected from the campus community (Bowman, 2010; Ying, 2001). In the next 40 years, people of color will become the majority within the American population (Passel & Cohn, 2008), yet few interventions seem to be resolving the apparent disparity in success across ethnic groups in higher education (McWhorter, 2005). Researchers have suggested that the psychological experiences of students may provide a new means for understanding why students persist to graduation (Bean & Eaton, 2002). Students' psychological processes have been explored in the literature as they relate to the academic, social, and emotional success of students; that is, the ways students thrive on campus (Schreiner, 2010c). Thriving students demonstrate high levels of interpersonal, intrapersonal, and academic well-being. The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which student demographic characteristics, campus environmental characteristics, student spirituality, and psychological sense of community explain the variation in thriving among students of color. The "Thriving Quotient," a reliable and valid instrument that measures thriving across five factors (Schreiner, McIntosh, Nelson, & Pothoven, 2009), was utilized to explore the pathways to thriving in a sample of 7,956 students attending 59 institutions. Using structural equation modeling (SEM), unique pathways to thriving for Caucasian, African American, Asian, and Latino students were explored in this study. A psychological sense of community emerged as the primary predictor of thriving among all student groups, and spirituality emerged as the largest single contributor to a sense of community among students of color, yet structural invariance across the four ethnic groups indicated that the pathways to thriving differ by ethnicity. Implications for practice are highlighted that can help students of color thrive in college. [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: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A