Attachment and college academic success a four-year longitudinal study
Attachment and College Academic Success: A Four-Year Longitudinal Study Robert M. Kurland, Associate Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Harold I. Siegel, Chair and Professor of Psychology Rutgers University – Newark, NJ October 27, 2011
Defining Adult Attachment + (Model of self) - +(Model of others) - (Fraley, Waller, & Brennan. 2000)
Background Love and Work: An Attachment Theoretical Perspective (Hazan & Shaver, 1990) Secure: do not worry about failure or feel unappreciated work does not interfere with friendships take enjoyable vacations Anxious: worry about work performance feel underappreciated fear rejection for poor performances are easily distracted have trouble completing projects tend to slack off after receiving praise. Avoidant: prefer to work alone use work to avoid socializing do not have enjoyable vacations from work.
How to measure academic success? GPA Credit load and completion Retention Graduation
Attachment and College Student Academic Success How to improve college students’ academic success Can Attachment Theory serve as a framework for college student academic success?
Previous Research Secure children at 18 months were more enthusiastic, persistent, cooperative, and, in general, more effective than insecurely attached infants (Matas, Arend, & Sroufe, 1978) Secure children aged 1½ through 5½ paid more attention to readings than anxiously attached children (Bus & Van Ijzendoorn, 1988) Secure children at 7 years old children were better with deductive reasoning as compared to insecure children (Jacobsen & Hofmann,1994) Avoidant and ambivalent toddlers explored less and were less involved in school and academic related tasks and activities (Matas et. al., 1978) Ambivalent children were more concerned with focusing on the teacher’s physical proximity and attachment availability than they were on academic tasks and activities (Cassidy & Berlin, 1994)
Attachment and Academic SuccessAcademically successful students Research has shown that secureneed (Mikulincer &Shaver, 2007): individuals: Constructive ways of coping with handle stress better (Salas, Driskell, & frustrations and failures Hughes, 1996)optimistic expectations of academic have high levels of self-confidence success (Mattanh, Hancock, & Brand, 2004)positive attitude toward learning and Have better academic competency problem solving (Fass & Tubman, 2002)
Study 1 – Attachment and Academic Success during the transition to College 84 Rutgers-Newark college freshmen (class of 2011) Consent to access academic records Survey questions used to measure: Attachment (Fraley, Niedenthal, Marks, Brumbaugh, & Vicary, 2006; Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991) Ethical behavior (7-point Likert scale) Anxiety (Beck, Epstein, Brown, & Steer, 1988) Depression (Beck, Ward, Mendelson, Mock, & Erbaugh, 1962) Self-esteem (Rosenberg, 1965) Academic Locus of Control (Trice, 1985) Student life, student activities (7-point Likert scale)
Attachment and Academic Success in High School ↑ Avoidance ↓ High School GPA r = -.269, p = .021 ↑ Anxiety… ↓ SAT r = -.262, p = .024
Attachment and Academic Success during transition Student who were high in attachment anxiety performed worse academically in college as compared to high school (r = -.312, p = .007) 3 (HS GPA - College GPA) 2 1 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Attachment anxiety
Attachment and Academic Success - first semester Attachment avoidance and credits attempted 1716.5 * 1615.5 Avoidant 15 Non-avoidant14.5 1413.5 Avoidant Non-avoidant t (1,72) = 2.626, p = .011
Study 2: Longitudinal study on attachment and academic success 84 Rutgers-Newark college freshmen (class of 2011) During their first year (AY 07-08) completed survey including: ECR – anxiety and avoidant scores Relationship Questionnaire Consent to access academic records 25 minutes to complete
Discussion Results show secure students have higher GPA’s, are retained better, and graduate earlier secure students showed better learning dispositions (Larose, Bernier, & Tarabulsy, 2005) Individuals with secure attachment to both parents and peers had significantly higher GPA’s (Fass & Tubman, 2002)
Future/Current Research Examine the influence of two specific variables that may mediate or moderate the relationship between attachment and academic success in the classroom Self-efficacy (Cutrona, Cole, Colangelo, Assouline, & Russell, 1994) Procrastination (Hazen & Shaver, 1990)
ThanksDr. Harold I. SiegelAttachment Lab: Dan DePaulo Raelene Joran Allyson Meloni Katie AlexanderDr. Connie WibrowskiWriting ProgramEOFStudent Life and LeadershipShelley C. Kurland, et al.