Keith McCarthy 
 Transitions:  A Study in Hardiness, Individuation, and Self Perceptions of Academic Achievement among College Freshman
Background Research Question Method
Results Implications Relevant Links

Mathis and Lecci (1999), found that a hardy personality is initially associated with better adjustment to college and life in general.  Lopez, Campbell, & Watkins, (1988) found that individuation is highly associated with conflict between parents and incoming freshmen. This implies that if a child does not get along well with their parents, they will not adjust to college very easily.  Individuation is also known as college adjustment. Research also suggests that if parents have an authoritative parenting style their child will adjust better academically to college (Hickman, Bartholomae, & Mckenry, 2000).  These, along with various other studies provided me with enough solid background information to come up with a relevant research question. 

Research Question
There were three different research questions for this study.  The three different question for this study were (1), as the level of hardiness increased in the individual, so would the level of self-perception of academic achievement.  (2) as the level of individuation increased in the individual, so would the level of self-perception of academic achievement. (3) as the level of hardiness increased in the individual, so would the level of individuation. 


In this particular study there was a total of eight subjects.  There were three different instruments used in this study which were: The Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (Baker & Siryk, 1986), The Personal Views Survey (Kobasa, 1985), and the Self Perceptions Survey which was created by me to use in this study.



In regards to the first research question, the results of this study indicated that participants who had hardier personalities did better on the first test in a required course for freshmen.  Also the participants who had higher levels of commitment did better on all three of the test in the required course.  The last piece of important information for the first question was that participants who had higher levels of commitment participated in more sports.  The significant results for the second question are as follows. As the level  of academic adjustment increased so did the participants performance on the tests in the same required course.  In the study the partcipants did better on the second and third tests than they did on the first one.  One other interesting result was that as the participants became better adjusted to college personally and emotionally, they spent less time on their studies.  For the last research question challenge playeda very significant role.  Challenge was highly correlated with full adjustment, social adjustment, and personal/emotional adjustment.  This indicates that as the students level of challenge either increased depending on the way they looked at challenge, their overall adjustment was better, their social adjustment was better, and their personal/emotional adjustment was better. 



The implications 

Relevant Links
  • link 3
  • link 4
Return to Top

Return to Psychology Department Homepage   Return to Senior Thesis Homepage