Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The holistic development of college students: Psychosocial and emotional development of college students in relation to pro-social character development
by Jenney, T. J., Ph.D., Purdue University, 2010, 393; 3465170
Abstract (Summary)

Character development has become a topic among college administrators and student service professionals as well as parents and students. Although a laudable and much-needed area of investigation, there is a lack of data measuring the impact and efficacy of factors that might support pro-social character development in college students. The purpose of this study is to discover what factors best predict and therefore promote pro-social character in college students including faculty-student interactions, peer relationships, community service, and spirituality. This study will also examine how these same four major areas correlate with standard collegiate program measurements, including satisfaction with campus community, satisfaction with interaction with other students, and overall satisfaction with college. Secondarily, within the context of these four major factors, this study will also examine the influence of gender, institutional characteristics, residential status, and major field of study in predicting pro-social character development. This research utilizes a longitudinal study which examines the relationship between character self-ratings by students on the CSBV2003 (College Students Beliefs and Values Survey) and aforementioned variables in the CSBV2003, the SIF2000 (Student Information Form), and the CIRP (Cooperative Institutional Research Program) higher education institutional characteristics regarding type, control, and selectivity, using the database maintained by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) of UCLA. The design of the study employs Causal Analytic Modeling with Blocked Regression Analysis (CAMBRA) on quantitative data derived from the SIF (2000) and CSBV (2003) surveys on a representative sampling of college students comprising the cohort of entering first-year students in fall 2000 at forty-six colleges and universities. The data from the two surveys are linked by students' and institutional CIRP anonymous identifiers assigned by HERI. This study will use CAMBRA within the IEO model (Input-Environment-Outcome) developed by Astin and colleagues at the HERI to utilize advantages of CAMBRA and best allow for sequential modeling and causal analysis for studying what factors best support certain outcomes. The goal is to better understand and highlight the variables that support pro-social character development in college students so that college administrators and faculty, as well as parents and students, can promote pro-social character development. The hypotheses include that predictors of pro-social character development include quality faculty-student interactions, particularly outside the classroom, positive peer relationships and peer group involvement, positive student spirituality, and involvement in community service.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bennett, Deborah E.
Commitee: Greenan, James, Gruen, Gerald, Naimi, Linda
School: Purdue University
Department: Educational Studies
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 72/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational psychology, Developmental psychology
Keywords: Character, Community service, Development, Emotional development, Holistic, Peer relationships, Prosocial, Psychosocial development, Spirituality
Publication Number: 3465170
ISBN: 978-1-124-76871-7
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