Thesis

A structural model predicting adaptation to college

The present study explored the relationship of self-determination, autonomy, intrinsic motivation, self-actualization, relationships with academic members and family, well-being, and adaptation and commitment to college in a structural model. Three hundred and ninety eight college students (74% female and 43% White) at a large public university in the Western United States volunteered to participate in exchange for course credit. The final constructs measured included well-being, ambition for personal fulfillment (which included self-determination, intrinsic motivation, autonomy, and self-actualization traits), and college adaptation and commitment. Results from the structural model indicated that 63% of the effect of Ambition on Adaptation was mediated through Well-being. An evaluation of an invariance structural model indicated that the mediation model described both psychology and College Assistant Migrant Program CAMP students in the same way. Limitations included an overwhelming majority of female participants (74%) and a small sample size of CAMP student participants (n = 64).

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