Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The relationship between self-concept related factors and degree aspirations of African American college students
by Thomas, Brian A., Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2017, 106; 10254728
Abstract (Summary)

Notable scholars including Astin, Pascarelli, Terenzini and others have pioneered studies in psychosocial issues including self-concepts related to college students’ experience and achievement factors (Astin, 1984, 1991; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005; Terenzini, Pascarella, & Blimling, 1996). In recent years, there has been an increase in national attention on the identification of those factors that promote educational success and related outcomes specifically for African American college students (Cokley, 2000, 2003, M. J. Cuyjet, 1997, 2006b; Harris III, Palmer, & Struve, 2011; Wood, 2012; Wood, Harris, & Khalid, 2015). Some scholars have sought to learn more about the role of individual attitudes, behaviors, and self-concepts of students who are achieving academic success (Harper, 2004, 2008, 2012; F. Harris & Wood, 2013; Hunter & Davis, 1994; Wood, 2012). However, little research has been completed in recent years about the specific attitudes and behaviors associated with degree aspirations of African American college students (Bharmal et al., 2012; Cokley, 2000; Thomas, Smith, Marks, & Crosby, 2012). Therefore, the purpose of this research study was to examine data from the 2011 CIRP National College Senior Survey to understand better and draw inferences from the relationships between specific self-concept related factors of African American college students after four years of college and their degree aspirations.

The conceptual framework for this study was based on Harper’s Anti-Deficit Model (Harper, 2012) which suggests researchers should seek to understand degree apsirations of African American students from the viewpoint of those attributes, characteristics or assets that contribute to academic their success versus what students may lack. The study also drew upon the Holistic Identity Model (HIM) (Winkle-Wagner & Locks, 2014), which was built upon the premise that students experience multiple identities simultaneously during their college years and that those identities play a significant role in the manner by which students elect to approach, engage in and aspire to higher education. Together these models provided a guide and a lens by which this study was conducted and through which the results were understood.

Findings from this quantitative study included the statistical significance and extent of the relationship of academic self-concept, habits of mind, leadership self-concept, social agency, social self-concept, and spiritual self-concept and degree aspirations. Gender-based differences that were statistically significant were reported. Results of the predictability of those self-concept-related factors regarding degree aspirations were also included. The study concludes with a discussion of the implications of the findings for policy, practice, and further research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Locks, Angela M.
Commitee: O'Brien, Jonathan J., Sanders, Sabrina K.
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Higher education
Keywords: African American, College students, Degree aspirations, Female, Male, Self-concept
Publication Number: 10254728
ISBN: 978-1-369-60815-1
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