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College adjustment : a study on english prep school students studying in Northern Cyprus

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2009
Sun Selışık, Zeynep Eda
This study was conducted to explore the college adjustment of first year college students studying at a university in Northern Cyprus. Study I which used longitudinal mixed method design, examined changes in social, academic, and total college adjustment, perceived stress, self-esteem, college adjustment self-efficacy, cultural distance levels of students through three assessments (3 months, 6 months, 9 months); and investigated college adjustment process and experiences of students through three interviews at three stages (3 months, 6 months, 9 months). Participants were 14 English Preparatory School Turkish students at a university in the Northern Cyprus. Study II, investigated the role of gender, academic achievement, student club membership, perceived stress, self-esteem, college adjustment self-efficacy, and cultural distance, on college adjustment. Participants were 186 English Preparatory School Turkish students at a university in the Northern Cyprus. In Study II, data were collected at the end of the academic year. In Study I, it was found that, students’ self-controlled persistence of activity dimension of CASES scores increased significantly from 3 to 6 months, and students’ cultural distance scores increased from 3 to 9 months. However, no significant differences were encountered in other variables’ scores among three assessments. The qualitative findings indicated that students experienced several challenges and frequently used active coping strategies to deal with them. During this challenging process family and friends were the two prime sources of support for the students. Students also revealed that their first year experience contributed to several positive personal changes and their supportive social network and previous experiences/life style were two important facilitative factors in their adaptation process. In Study II, the results of the three hierarchical regression analyses demonstrated that combination of all 5 predictors in three steps explained 34 % of variance in total college adjustment, 31 % of variance in social adjustment, and 34 % of variance in academic adjustment scores of the students. Among all individual predictor variables; self adjustment in human relations dimension of CASES, self-esteem, student club membership were positive predictors of overall college adjustment and social adjustment; academic achievement and self-controlled persistence of activity dimension of CASES were positive predictors of academic adjustment. On the other hand, perceived stress was a negative predictor of overall college adjustment and academic adjustment.