Identifier

etd-04102014-091806

Degree

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Department

Social Work

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

One population of particular concern for college-employed social workers is the low-income, first-generation (LIFG) student population. As the national pressure to increase retention in college has intensified, many students are graduating from universities across the country and starting professional careers. In the college population, some students may be classified as either low-income, first-generation, or both. The two classifications combined define a vulnerable population within colleges and universities – those students who are both low-income and first-generation students. The need to examine LIFG college students’ experiences after admittance, particularly in relation to degree attainment, can help social workers determine what programs are effectively helping this population and what needs have yet to be met for this population. Resiliency theory may be especially useful in understanding LIFG college students’ experiences. This study will also examine LIFG students’ mental health needs. By assessing LIFG students’ mental health, this study will build upon what is already known about the mental health problems among college students, as well as build upon existing resilience research. Risk and protective factors were evaluated between academic and nonacademic variables including: factors related to matriculation and characteristics of the current college experience. Mental health needs were also assessed using the MHI-38 (Veit & Ware, 1983). Results showed LIFG students had high parental press, high valuation of college, high academic integration, and high social integration. LIFG students in the sample also showed low psychological distress, with inversely high psychological well-being and high overall mental health scores. These results have implications for future research, policy, practice, and social work education.

Date

2014

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Ball, Annahita

Included in

Social Work Commons

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