The adjustment of first- and non-first-generation students during their first year
Van Schalkwyk, Janey Ann
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English: This study explored adjustment among students from different generational groups during their first year at university. The specific aim of this research study was to investigate the differences in adjustment between first- and non-first-generation students during their first year at university. Furthermore, the perceptions of students regarding various adjustment issues were explored. A mixed-methods research approach was employed. The sample group consisted of 122 first-year students. In the quantitative section of the study, a biographical questionnaire and the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire were used to measure the students’ levels of adjustment, specifically with regard to aspects of their academic, social, and personal-emotional adjustment. The adjustment levels of first-generation and non-first-generation students were determined, and it was found that both groups portrayed relatively moderate levels of adjustment. Analyses of variance indicate that first-generation students reported significantly higher levels of personal-emotional adjustment than the non-first-generation students did. In the qualitative section of the study, six semi-structured individual interviews were conducted to explore the perceptions students from different generational groups had regarding their adjustment during their first year at university. The themes emerging from both generational groups were very similar. These themes included students’ adjustment challenges regarding having to leave their home environment and entering a culturally diverse university environment. Challenges with regard to social adjustment (such as finding a new support system) and academic adjustment (such as struggling with a higher workload, time pressure, and academic expectations) were numerous. In facing these demands, students were prompted to find new ways of coping (such as accepting personal responsibility and finding independence).Afrikaans: Hierdie studie ondersoek aanpassing onder studente van verskillende generasie groepe gedurende hul eerste jaar op universiteit. Die spesifieke doel van hierdie navorsingstudie was om die verskil in aanpassing tussen eerste- en nie-eerstegenerasiestudente gedurende die eerste jaar van universiteit te ondersoek. Verder is die persepsies van studente met betrekking tot verskeie aanpassingskwessies verken. ŉ Gemengdemetodes-navorsingsontwerp is gebruik. Die ondersoekgroep het bestaan uit 122 eerste jaar studente. In die kwantitatiewe gedeelte van die studie is ŉ biografiese vraelys en die Student Adaptation to College vraelys gebruik om die vlakke van aanpassing van die studente te meet, spesifiek met betrekking tot aspekte van hul akademiese, sosiale en persoonlike-emosionele aanpassing. Die aanpassingsvlakke van die eerstegenerasie- en nie-eerstegenerasiestudente is bepaal, en dit is bevind dat beide groepe relatiewe matige vlakke van aanpassing getoon het. Variansie-analise het aangedui dat eerstegenerasiestudente aansienlike hoër vlakke van persoonlike-emosionele aanpassing as nie-eerstegenerasiestudente getoon het. In die kwalitatiewe gedeelte van die studie is ses semi-gestruktureerde individuele onderhoude gevoer om die verskillende persepsies wat studente van verskillende generasie groepe met betrekking tot aanpassing tydens hulle eerste jaar op universiteit gehad het, te ondersoek. Die temas van beide generasiegroepe wat na vore gekom het, was soortgelyk. Hierdie temas sluit die uitdagings wat studente ervaar het met betrekking tot die verlating van hul tuisomgewing asook die kulturele diverse omgewing wat universiteit hul nou bied, in. Daar was talle uitdagings rakende sosiale aanpassing (om ŉ nuwe ondersteuningstelsel te vind) en akademiese aanpassing (om te sukkel met ŉ groter werkslading, tydsdruk, en akademiese verwagtinge). Deur hierdie uitdagings aan te pak, was studente aangemoedig om nuwe maniere van hantering te vind (om persoonlike verantwoordelikheid te neem en om onafhanklikheid te vind)
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