Novel Perspectives on Adversity Exposure, Stress Responding, and Academic Retention Among First- and Continuing-Generation Students

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michaeline Jensen, Assistant Professor (Creator)
Suzanne Vrshek-Schallhorn, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: First-generation college students are less likely to complete their degrees than continuing-generation students, in part due to experiences of educational and socioeconomic adversity. Accounting for adversity and its downstream implications is likely to suggest new interventions that promote resilience and retention of these students. We propose a novel model in which the influence of adversity on long term academic outcomes acts through indicators of stress responding, then through academic avoidance behaviors. The strength of this pathway depends upon both a cognitive processing characteristic that affects stress responding—trait rumination—and levels of enacted family support during college. This perspective suggests specific targets for intervention that include decreasing levels of rumination, increasing levels of family support, and decreasing academic avoidance behaviors for all students, but might be particularly relevant to first-generation students.

Additional Information

Emerging Adulthood, 11 (1)
Language: English
Date: 2022
retention, first-generation, adversity, stress reactivity, avoidance

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