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ERIC Number: EJ798189
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-1542-3077
Managing the Tension of In(ter)dependence: Communication and the Socialization of First-Year College Students
Smith, Alane K.; Carmack, Heather J.; Titsworth, B. Scott
Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, v18 n2 p83-109 2006
The adjustment to college represents a potentially invigorating and unsettling time for students. As students are socialized into college experiences, they must simultaneously navigate issues of identity, uncertainty, and change--all of which take place in a dynamic, ever-changing communication environment. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of college students as they navigate their first year of college. After conducting individual interviews, focus-group interviews, and shadowing observations, we observed that college students' socialization is driven by the tension of in(ter)dependence, a desire for independence and a continuing need for dependence. As students meet new people and establish themselves as college students, they do so while managing the need for connectedness and separateness and (re)defining their sense of self. We discuss these observations within the context of how communication studies can substantially inform theory and praxis related to college student socialization. (Contains 1 figure.)
National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. University of South Carolina, 1728 College Street, Columbia, SC 29208. Tel: 803-777-6229; Fax: 803-777-4699; e-mail:; Web site:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Practitioners; Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A