Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Melanie Leuty

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Dr. Emily Bullock-Yowell

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Dr. Jon Mandracchia

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 4

Dr. Randolph Arnau

Committee Member 4 Department

Psychology

Abstract

Tinto (1993) found that only 15-25% of students who dropped out of college did so due to academic failure, while the reasons for leaving among the remaining group of students who dropped out were unknown. This suggests that the majority of students who drop out of college are likely doing so for reasons other than academic struggles. Researchers have suggested that individuals who are committed to their major are more likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree (Bowling, Beehr, & Lepisto, 2006; Den Hartog & Belschak, 2007; Duffy, Dik, & Steger, 2011; Goulet & Singh, 2002; Landrum & Mulcock, 2007), indicating that academic major commitment is a highly important aspect of academic persistence. The purpose of the current study was to investigate commitment profile types of undergraduate students and relationships between these profiles and important academic outcomes (e.g., persistence, mental health). Results revealed a seven profile solution with each group relating uniquely to important outcomes for college students (i.e., retention, mental health, performance, and adjustment). Particularly, it was found that those with a mid-level or flat profile (i.e., mid level reports of commitment) reported greater intention to quit school, higher mental health problems and poorer adjustment. However, those with high affective and university commitment reported decreased intention of quitting, lower mental health concerns, better adjustment, and higher GPA. Other profile relationships and implications of these results are discussed.

Masters thesis: http://aquila.usm.edu/masters_theses/33/

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