An exploration of the role of perceived social support, coping, and resilience in the academic motivation of parentified black college students
Gilford, Tawanna T.
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This study examined the lives of parentified Black college students who were raised in single parent female-headed households. Participants in this study came from distressed family situations with a mother who currently experiences or has experienced: mental illness, substance abuse, incarceration, physical disability, medical condition, victim of abuse, irresponsibility, or who is deceased. The purpose of this study was to examine their college experiences including the push and pull factors they experienced from their families of origin while pursuing their degrees. This population is important to study because they are largely unrecognized in college settings. This study consisted of 121 male and female current undergraduate and graduate students and recent college graduates. Participants were administered a series of scales that measured parentification, academic motivation, perceived social support, coping, and resilience. Analysis yielded significant results including meaningful relationships between the main constructs: Parentification, Resilience, Perceived Social Support, Africultural Coping, Academic Motivation, and Gender. Furthermore, these variables, when combined, were significant predictors of academic motivation in parentified college students. Although there were no significant predictors of resilience in parentified college students, perceived social support, particularly family support was most strongly correlated with resilience. Furthermore, there were significant gender differences in academic motivation, but no noteworthy gender differences on any of the other main constructs for this study. The dissertation will also explore practical applications of the findings and suggestions for future research.