Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 643–667 | Cite as

Emerging adults’ self-identified peer crowd affiliations and college adjustment

  • Andrea HopmeyerEmail author
  • Wendy Troop-Gordon
  • Tal Medovoy
  • Jesse Fischer


Crowd affiliations are integral to academic functioning and school adjustment during adolescence. However, less is known about crowd structures within institutions of higher education. The current study was designed to validate the College Peer Crowd Questionnaire (CPCQ), an instrument designed to assess college students’ self-reported crowd identifications, and examine associations with academic and socioemotional problems that derail college success. Participants were 498 students at a small liberal arts college in the western United States (Mage = 20.08; SD = 1.38, range = 18–26). Confirmatory factor analysis showed that the peer crowd structure could best be described by four underlying crowd dimensions (i.e., social, athletic, scholastic and counterculture) and that the factor structure was invariant across gender and college standing. Using structural equation modeling, we also found that crowd identification was significantly correlated with indices of college adjustment and behaviors that jeopardize academic success. The results highlight the importance of crowd affiliations for college students’ success and adjustment. The results also highlight that the CPCQ is a valid tool for researchers who undertake this research.


Peer crowds Health risk behaviors School adjustment Emerging adulthood 



The authors express appreciation to Kathleen DeKoste, Sloane Fisher, Lily Mofit, Zoe Sher and Jessica Wilcox for their assistance with participant recruitment. This research was supported in part by a fellowship to the third author from the Ford Research Mentors Endowment.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOccidental CollegeLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyNorth Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA

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