The Relationship between Psychosocial Resilience and Grade Point Average for First-Generation College Freshmen Public Deposited
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The United States’ attrition rate for first-generation college students (FGCS) is 50% compared to 38.5% for their continuing-generation peers, and the attrition gap begins in freshman year. For the September through May 2016 academic year, 43% of U.S. FGCS freshmen failed to return for their sophomore year, compared to 28% of continuing-generation peers. The purpose of this quantitative study is to determine the relationship between psychosocial resilience as measured by the Resilience Scale (RS) and freshman-year Grade Point Average (GPA) for a sample of 108 FGCS attending four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in New Jersey. Psychosocial resilience theory served as the theoretical framework. The study employed a quantitative correlational design to address the relationship among psychosocial resilience, GPA, age, and ethnicity using multiple regression analysis. A significant positive relationship was found between psychosocial resilience and GPA for FGCS. This relationship persisted after controlling for age and ethnicity. A significant positive relationship was also found between psychosocial resilience and age. University administrators seeking to reduce undergraduate attrition rates for FGCS might consider interventions to build psychosocial resilience. Future research is needed to identify effective interventions to reduce FGCS attrition.