Interracial Diversity at Historically Black Colleges: The Role of Psycholocial Well-Being in the First Generation Graduate Students

April 2nd, 2014 by webmaster

By: Dr. Andrea T. Cunningham, Alabama A&M University | Dr. Walter A. Brown, Jackson State University

The purpose of this study is to extend previous research conducted by Wang and Castaneda-Sound (2008) that examined the influences of generational status, self-esteem, academic self-efficacy, and perceived social support on undergraduate first generation college (FGC) students’ wellbeing. This research explored how the previously mentioned variables affected FGC students on the graduate level. It also attempted to confirm the findings on students on the undergraduate level.

As first generation college (FGC) students continue to increase in numbers at colleges and universities, administrators must acknowledge and deal with the issues which accompany them. This is especially true for first generation students on the graduate level. If challenges such as lack of preparation for college and psychosomatic issues are not mitigated on the undergraduate level, the persistence of graduate students may be affected.

This study used a quantitative methodology to investigate the relationships, if any, between academic self-efficacy, self-esteem, and perceived social support from family and friends on first generation graduate students’ psychological well-being. The results of this study have implications on the retention and persistence of first generation students who wish to go on to pursue graduate degrees. The study allows higher education administrators an opportunity to see some of the challenges today’s first generation graduate students face.

Posted in Faculty Research