A comparative study of adjustment to college of first-generation and second-generation college students
Reynolds-Shaw, Kathleen A
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the idea that first-generation college students have a harder time adjusting to college than do second-generation college students with respect to academic, social, personal-emotional adjustment, goal commitment/institutional attachment, and overall adjustment. This study utilizes Baker & Siryk's (1989) Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ to measure and assess students' adjustment to college and to examine if there were statistically significant differences between first- and second-generation students in the above areas. Participants were 112 students drawn from a 4-year liberal arts college in western New York. Fifty-nine first-generation college students with a mean age of 22.08 and 53 second-generation with a mean age of 23.55 participated in the study. Eighty-seven (78%) of the participants were female and 25 (22%) were male. The first four SACQ variables under examination resulted in no statistically significant differences between first- and second-generation college students' adjustment. However, the overall adjustment score indicated a statistically significant difference (t (110) = 1.770, p=.04) between first- and second-generation students with the first-generation students overall mean score (x=51.69) being higher than second-generation overall mean score (x=48.42). Results indicate that at this 4-year college, first- and second-generation students adapt to college similarly well.