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Adjustment to College as Measured by the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire: A Quantitative Review of its Structure and Relationships with Correlates and Consequences

Abstract

This paper presents a meta-analytic review (k = 237, N = 44,668) of the adjustment to college literature. The review, based on studies using the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire, is organized around three primary themes: (1) the structure of students’ adjustment to college, (2) the relationship of adjustment to college constructs with possible antecedents and correlates, and (3) the relationship of adjustment to college constructs with college grades and college retention. Meta-analytic results indicate that adjustment to college is multidimensional, predictive of college grades, and an unusually good predictor of college retention. Adjustment to college is also shown to be moderately related to individual traits, social support, and students’ relationships with their parents. Weaker relationships are evident with demographic variables, prior achievement, coping approaches, and variables that reflect students’ psychological independence from their parents. Theoretical and practical implications for the study of students’ adjustment to college, academic performance, and retention are discussed.

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Notes

  1. Taylor and Pastor (2007) use maximum likelihood (ML) estimation techniques despite very severe violations of multivariate normality that would suggest that weighted least squares estimation methods would be more appropriate. Relying on ML estimation for data that does not satisfy the assumptions of multivariate normality results in artificially low fit indexes (Curran et al. 1996).

  2. These figures exclude data from studies that measure adjustment and grades at the same time point.

  3. The full list of references of studies included in this analysis can be obtained from the first author upon request.

  4. The SAT-retention correlation and the SAT-HSGPA correlation were based on data presented in Mattern and Patterson (2009), and were also corrected for unreliability in SAT scores. The HSGPA-retention correlation was the sample-size weighted average correlation for 2- and 4-year institution presented in Robbins et al. (2006).

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Credé, M., Niehorster, S. Adjustment to College as Measured by the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire: A Quantitative Review of its Structure and Relationships with Correlates and Consequences. Educ Psychol Rev 24, 133–165 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-011-9184-5

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Keywords

  • Adjustment to college
  • College retention
  • College GPA
  • Meta-analysis