First-year readjustment to family culture: the roles of generation status and parental attachment on re-entry shock

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mary E. Anderson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Deborah Taub

Abstract: First-generation college students face many challenges and many successes as the first from their family to go to college. Although much research has been done to support this population of students in the transition and adjustment to the college culture, little research has been completed about the experiences they face upon their return home to their family culture. Due to the lack of shared experiences, first-generation college students may encounter an increase in psychological issues when re-assimilating to their family culture after engaging in the college culture. Because research has indicated that secure attachment bonds lessen the impact of psychological symptoms such as stress, anxiety, and isolation during the transition and adjustment period to college, it may be possible that strong attachment decreases these same psychological issues during the transition and adjustment back home. This study examined the differences of the re-entry experiences of first-year college students based on generation status to their family culture using a theoretical lens that investigated theories of re-entry shock and parental attachment. The presence of secure attachment bonds from family relationships and the impact of these bonds as they relate to transition and adjustment home were also explored. The research design considered the characteristics of gender and ethnicity and the role they played on the dependent variables of re-entry shock and parental attachment. Although the results of the study did not find statistically significant differences between groups regarding re-entry shock, significant differences were found in regard to parental attachment bonds based on gender and generation status. Understanding differences in parental bonds will assist student affairs practitioners in offering ongoing programs and services that not only assist students in their transition back to their family culture, but may also make parents and families more aware of the opportunities and challenges that their students face throughout the college journey.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Family Culture, First-generation college student, First-year readjustment, First-year student, Parental attachment, Re-entry shock
First-generation college students $x Family relationships
College freshmen $x Family relationships
Reverse culture shock
Parent and child

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