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Psychosocial factors predicting the adjustment and academic performance of university students

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dc.contributor.advisor Dumont, Kitty
dc.contributor.author Sommer, Marc
dc.date.accessioned 2014-03-26T08:01:06Z
dc.date.available 2014-03-26T08:01:06Z
dc.date.issued 2013-06
dc.identifier.citation Sommer, Marc (2013) Psychosocial factors predicting the adjustment and academic performance of university students, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <http://hdl.handle.net/10500/13283> en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10500/13283
dc.description.abstract Although student enrolment at South African universities has significantly increased over recent years; student retention and graduation rates remain low, while student dropout rates are high, especially among historically disadvantaged students. One reason for the low student academic success is poor academic performance which is, in part, influenced by a variety of psychosocial constructs. The present study examined the influence and predictability of the psychosocial constructs of help-seeking, academic motivation, self~ esteem, academic overload, perceived-stress, test~anxiety, self~efficacy and perceived social support on students' adjustment and academic performance at university. The current study had four distinctive aims seeking to aid in addressing the current situation: firstly, to identify the relationship between psychosocial constructs, adjustment and academic performance. Secondly, to replicate an earlier model with psychosocial constructs proposing that a partially mediated model is preferred in explaining students' adjustment and academic performance at university- compared to a direct or totally mediated model. Thirdly, to theoretically and empirically extend and test an extended model of psychosocial constructs to explain students' adjustment and academic performance at university. Fourthly, to test for and identify possible group differences among the psychosocial constructs; as well as to establish if students' gender, age and residence status functioned as moderator variables. The present study was conducted at the historically disadvantaged University of Fort Hare. The number of participants was 280 and included first and second-year undergraduate students. Path analysis was conducted to test the hypotheses of the present study. Results partially supported previous findings with regard to relationships between psychosocial constructs, adjustment and academic performance; they also confirmed that a partially mediated model is preferred to explaining students' adjustments and academic performance at university; results showed that the additional constructs oftest-anxiety and self-efficacy increased the explained variance of an extended model to predict students' success at university; and identified some path differences between psychosocial constructs, adjustment and academic performance. It is recommended that universities focus on psychosocial factors as well as students' overall adjustment and well-being as it impacts on their academic performance capabilities. It is further recommended that psychosocial factors are incorporated into existing, or at least considered for, new or enhanced student development, support and intervention initiatives. These university services could be administered and implemented by training existing academic staff along with help from university counselling centres or psychology departments. An integral part of any intervention or support program should be the teaching of coping skills or strategies as well as the incorporation of graduate students to assist and help students adjust to university in order to perform well academically. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xi, 355 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject.ddc 155.240842
dc.subject.lcsh Academic achievement -- Psychological aspects en
dc.subject.lcsh College students -- Psychology en
dc.subject.lcsh Adjustment (Psychology) en
dc.subject.lcsh Student adjustment en
dc.title Psychosocial factors predicting the adjustment and academic performance of university students en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Psychology en
dc.description.degree Ph.D (Psychology)


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