Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 159–173 | Cite as

Freshman withdrawal from college: A positive step toward identity formation? A follow-up study

  • Frank R. Timmons


Withdrawal from college can be a positive step toward separation from parents and identity formation. Subjects for the present study were all persons who withdrew from a random sample of 432 members of a large freshman class (154 males and 278 females). Subjects were divided into withdrawers versus continuers, with the former group being subdivided into transfers versus nontransfers and withdrew passing versus withdrew failing. All subjects were compared in terms of their responses to a freshman orientation questionnaire and a follow-up interview. The results indicate that both male and female withdrawers as a total group were significantly more dissatisfied with their lives (p<0.05 andp<0.025, respectively) at the time of admission than were continuers Follow-up results also suggest that many of the withdrawers left college and were able to deal with their dissatisfaction in creative ways. Transfers versus nontransfers, as well as withdrew-passing versus withdrew-failing students were also significantly different from each other along several dimensions at the time of admission. The findings have implications for administrators and researchers.


Random Sample Health Psychology Identity Formation Total Group Positive Step 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank R. Timmons
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry (Division of Clinical Psychology)University of Colorado Medical SchoolUSA
  2. 2.Colorado Psychiatric HospitalUniversity of Colorado Medical SchoolUSA

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