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Thesis/Dissertation Seminars

Thesis Defense: Low Income and First Generation Students Engagement of Authority Figures

HPH 406i
May 21, 2018 @ 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Announcing the Final Examination of Josalie Condon for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Sociology

Background: Numerous studies acknowledged the potential struggles that First generation (FG) and Low Income students (LI) face as they attempt to navigate the college degree pipeline. One struggle these students may face is an aversion to engaging authority figures. Unlike their peers, both FG and LI students can come from families with little to no college literacy, therefore this lack of support coupled with not seeking out assistance from authority figures on campus, could lead to potential problems in their academic achievement or post-college career access. This lack of engagement with authority figures may be related to childhood lessons such as Cultivation of Intellectual Independence (CII). Individuals with high CII have been taught to think and act independently while those with low CII are taught not to argue and or that they will understand when you are older. The purpose of this study is to explore whether either FG or LI's CII assist them in engaging authority figures. Method: Data was taken from Wave 1 and 2 of the 2005 National Longitudinal Study of Freshman. NLS sample of 3,924 students was used to measure FG and LI students during their freshman and sophomore year of college. In order to accomplish this goal, an OLS regression analysis was used to regress each of the five wave 2 (spring of their freshman year) engagement questions on the variables: FG, LI, CII scale, Race, Sex, U.S. Born, HS teachers interest, Living on campus, working for pay, and trouble with family. Results: While CII was a significant factor in engagement of authority figures, as predicted, FG and LI status did not match our predictions. LI students in this analysis are more likely to engage authority figures, instead of less likely, as was predicted, and FG status was not significant. Conclusion: This study aims to further our understanding of both FG and LI students' engagement of authority figures.

Committee in Charge: Melanie Hinojosa (Chair), Scott Carter, Michael Armato