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Attachment and College Academic Success:      A Four-Year Longitudinal Study          Robert M. Kurland, Associate Dean of...
Defining Adult Attachment                         +      (Model of self)        -       +(Model of others)       -        ...
Background    Love and Work: An Attachment Theoretical Perspective                  (Hazan & Shaver, 1990)   Secure:    ...
College Student Success
How to measure academic              success?   GPA   Credit load and completion   Retention   Graduation
Attachment and College Student Academic                   Success   How to improve college    students’ academic    succe...
Previous Research   Secure children at 18 months were more enthusiastic, persistent, cooperative,    and, in general, mor...
Attachment and Academic               SuccessAcademically successful students        Research has shown that secureneed (M...
Study 1 – Attachment and Academic     Success during the transition to College   84 Rutgers-Newark college freshmen (clas...
Attachment and Academic Success in High School   ↑ Avoidance ↓ High School GPA   r = -.269, p = .021   ↑ Anxiety…      ↓...
Attachment and Academic Success during transition     Student who were high in attachment anxiety performed worse academic...
Attachment and Academic Success - first semester         Attachment avoidance and credits attempted 1716.5                ...
Study 2: Longitudinal study on        attachment and academic success   84 Rutgers-Newark college freshmen (class of 2011...
Attachment styles and cumulative GPA                 3.500                 3.400           *          *                   ...
Attachment security and retention
Attachment avoidance and total degree                                  credits earned                       130.00        ...
Attachment avoidance and retention                *
Regression Analysis  High School  GPA              .391*                               4-year  Gender                     ...
Attachment and 4-year Graduation Rate                      50.00%                      45.00%            *                ...
Discussion   Results show secure students have higher GPA’s, are    retained better, and graduate earlier   secure stude...
Future/Current Research   Examine the influence of two specific variables that may    mediate or moderate the relationshi...
ThanksDr. Harold I. SiegelAttachment Lab:       Dan DePaulo       Raelene Joran       Allyson Meloni       Katie Alexander...
Attachment and college academic success   a four-year longitudinal study
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Attachment and college academic success a four-year longitudinal study

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Attachment and college academic success a four-year longitudinal study

  1. 1. 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
  2. 2. Defining Adult Attachment + (Model of self) - +(Model of others) - (Fraley, Waller, & Brennan. 2000)
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. College Student Success
  5. 5. How to measure academic success? GPA Credit load and completion Retention Graduation
  6. 6. 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?
  7. 7. 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)
  8. 8. 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)
  9. 9. 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)
  10. 10. Attachment and Academic Success in High School ↑ Avoidance ↓ High School GPA r = -.269, p = .021 ↑ Anxiety… ↓ SAT r = -.262, p = .024
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. Attachment styles and cumulative GPA 3.500 3.400 * * * * * * 3.300 3.200Cumulative GPA 3.100 Secure 3.000 Insecure 2.900 2.800 2.700 2.600 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Semester of enrollment
  15. 15. Attachment security and retention
  16. 16. Attachment avoidance and total degree credits earned 130.00 110.00 90.00Total earned credits 70.00 * non- * avoidant avoidant 50.00 30.00 10.00 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Semesters of Enrollment
  17. 17. Attachment avoidance and retention *
  18. 18. Regression Analysis High School GPA .391* 4-year Gender Cum GPA .013Attachment Security .273* R2 = .208
  19. 19. Attachment and 4-year Graduation Rate 50.00% 45.00% * 40.00% 35.00%Graduation Rate (%) 30.00% 25.00% 20.00% 15.00% 10.00% 5.00% 0.00% secure insecure Rutgers - Newark
  20. 20. 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)
  21. 21. 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)
  22. 22. ThanksDr. Harold I. SiegelAttachment Lab: Dan DePaulo Raelene Joran Allyson Meloni Katie AlexanderDr. Connie WibrowskiWriting ProgramEOFStudent Life and LeadershipShelley C. Kurland, et al.

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