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Friendship and Student Engagement, Achievement, and Persistence in College

Title: Friendship and Student Engagement, Achievement, and Persistence in College.
Name(s): Mauk, Andrew Joseph, author
Hu, Shouping, professor directing dissertation
Dennen, Vanessa, university representative
Milton, Sande, committee member
Schwartz, Robert A., committee member
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Friendship is a ubiquitous feature in all societies and social constructs, and has been examined in various ways throughout history. Ancient philosophers waxed poetically about the power of friendships, and more modern scholars have investigated the role that peers have in every society. While it seems that everyone may understand what a friendship is, rarely do people actually agree to what comprises important aspects of these types of relationships. Even more surprising is that only recently have studies investigated the role that friendship plays in educational environments. Higher education researchers have long pronounced that peer groups are important aspects of a student's experience in college. However, there has been little insight into the actual role that friendship plays in important college student outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine the role that friendship has on the college outcomes of student engagement, achievement, and persistence for first-year students at a large-public university. Through the use of a quantitative survey constructed from items from the fields of higher education and social psychology, the study measured the quality of the relationship with a best friend; the level of engagement in educational activities by the respondent; the student's college GPA and intent to persist to the second year. Findings of regression analysis indicated that there was a positive and significant relationship between certain types of friendships, the quality of the friendship, and the level of engagement in college. Further, there were some significant relationships in certain friendship types with the intent to persist to the second year. Finally, while there were no significant relationships between friendship and achievement, there were some indications that this relationship may be important. The study concludes with important implications for educational practice, and well as highlights many areas which are ripe for future study. Friendship may be a very important aspect of college student success.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-2657 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy..
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2011.
Date of Defense: June 10, 2011.
Keywords: Student Engagement, University, College, Persistence, Higher Education, Friendship, College Students
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Shouping Hu, Professor Directing Dissertation; Vanessa Dennen, University Representative; Sande Milton, Committee Member; Robert A. Schwartz, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Education
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Mauk, A. J. (2011). Friendship and Student Engagement, Achievement, and Persistence in College. Retrieved from