Belonging and Adjustment for LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ Students during the Social Transition to University (2021)
Type of ContentJournal Article
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
The transition to university can be challenging not only for the general student population but also for LGBTQ+ students, whose social experiences may be particularly demanding. In the current research, we explore first-year students’ perceptions of belonging and social adjustment by (a) estimating whether such perceptions relate to achievement motivation, well-being, and academic performance, and (b) identifying whether these trends differ for LGBTQ+ students. First-year students from one public university in New Zealand (n = 896) completed a questionnaire to report their early experiences in higher education. Grade Point Average (GPA) was provided by the institution. Results using descriptive statistics and regression-based, moderation models offer empirical support that belongingness and social adjustment have the potential to impact first-year students in meaningful ways, and that some of these patterns vary between LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ students. Individuals who reported institutional belonging and felt as though they had adjusted well to university also reported high levels of achievement motivation and well-being. Meanwhile, individuals who reported peer belonging were linked to weaker achievement motivation yet a higher GPA. Our results introduce new evidence that although LGBTQ+ students reported relatively poorer well-being, they experienced relatively more enjoyment and less boredom in their classes. Interactions from moderation testing reveal that the statistical predictions of belongingness and social adjustment for academic self-efficacy and subjective well-being differed between LGBTQ+ and nonLGBTQ+ students. We discuss the practical implications of our results and identify ways for higher educational institutions to support first-year students.
CitationSotardi V, Surtees N, Vincent K, Johnston H (2021). Belonging and Adjustment for LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ Students during the Social Transition to University Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.
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KeywordsLGBTQ+; belonging; achievement emotions; well-being; self-efficacy; GPA
ANZSRC Fields of Research39 - Education::3904 - Specialist studies in education::390412 - Teacher and student wellbeing
39 - Education::3904 - Specialist studies in education::390406 - Gender, sexuality and education
39 - Education::3903 - Education systems::390303 - Higher education
52 - Psychology::5204 - Cognitive and computational psychology::520403 - Learning, motivation and emotion
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