Social Network Diversity, Student Engagement, and Adaptation to College Open Access

Kassem, Adam (2015)

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The value of education has garnered attention as the costs of college continue to increase. Recent analyses, however, show that those who earn a college degree have better job prospects and higher incomes than those who do not. As a result, colleges actively seek innovative ways to increase student success. Researchers have identified student engagement and friendship network diversity in the academic and social life of the college as important predictors of student retention, adjustment, and graduation. Focusing on adjustment, this study examines variables that influence and mediate one's academic and social adaptation. Therefore, it was hypothesized that ethnic diversity and positive mood were positively correlated, people experience activities differently based on their adjustment and the type of activity they were participating in, and mood mediates the relationship between diversity and adjustment with activity moderating the relationship between mood and adjustment. Based on the analyses, diversity and mood were correlated with academic and social adjustment. Moreover, a two-level multilevel model revealed that participants' moods associated with social activities are typically more positive than those in academic activities, and these effects are more emphatic with higher academic adjustment scores. Process modeling found that mood does not have a mediating role in the relationship between diversity and adjustment, but mood and activity interact only when explaining academic adjustment.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Student Engagement 1

Student Engagement and Academic Adjustment 3

Student Engagement and Social Adjustment 4

Diversity and Academic Adjustment 6

Diversity and Social Adjustment 7

Statement of Problem and Hypothesis 9

Methods 10

Participants 10

Research Design 10

Procedure 11

Materials 11

Measures 11

Results 14

Missing or Duplicate Data 14

Descriptive Statistics 14

Hypothesis 1 15

Hypothesis 2 16

Hypothesis 3 21

Discussion 23

Hypothesis 1 23

Hypothesis 2 24

Hypothesis 3 25

Implications 26

Limitations 27

Future Directions 28

Conclusion 29

References 30

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