Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Anne M. Hocutt

Second Committee Member

Scott Ingold

Third Committee Member

Randall Penfield

Fourth Committee Member

Carol-Anne Phekoo

Fifth Committee Member

Paul Driscoll


Little is known about the college adjustment of first-generation students, particularly those from various racial/ethnic groups. This study sought to describe the college adjustment of first-generation students from three different racial/ethnic backgrounds (White/non-Hispanic, Black and Hispanic) and to determine whether generational status and race/ethnicity jointly or separately affect college adjustment as measured by responses to the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ). A sample of 418 students (208 first-generation, 210 non-first-generation; 140 White, 138 Black, and 140 Hispanic) was drawn from a population of 4,718 degree-seeking, self-identified undergraduates at a research university in the Southeast. A 2 X 3 factorial ANOVA was used to assess the effects of generational status and race/ethnicity on college adjustment. There was no significant interaction between the independent variables on adjustment to college, nor were there significant main effects. Despite follow-up data collection efforts, a low response rate (34%) to the online administration of the instrument and consequent low number of respondents in each cell may have obscured existing differences. Other implications are discussed, including the question of SACQ sensitivity to racial/ethnic differences and difficulties of web-based survey administration in an institutional setting.


Minority Students; Social Integration; Academic Integration; College Experiences; College Transition; College Choice