Correlates of adjustment to university life among students
The present thesis investigated correlates of psychosocial and academic adjustment to University life among students. Five cross-sectional and one longitudinal study were undertaken. During the first 3 studies the focus of interest was both on home and non-home students. During the latter three studies the focus shifted to first year home students only. Data was collected by means of a number of self-report questionnaires consisting mainly of a number of standardised and widely used personality, social support and wellbeing/ adjustment measures. Results indicated that: (a) prior to arrival at University, non-home students, in comparison to home students, appear to be quite well equipped for the transition, in terms of social and personality attributes; however, they appear to lack substantial information regarding life in Scotland and academic standards of the host University, which might adversely affect their ability to cope with eventual academic demands; (b) Cultural Distance appears to affect non-home students' psychosocial adjustment during the early stage of the transition; (c) Non-home students experience not only the problems that home students report but also a number of additional difficulties which are closely related to cultural differences; (d) Correlates of Homesickness appear to differ for home and non-home students; (e) Personality (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Self-esteem, Social Inhibition and perceived Social Competence) and Dysfunctional Attitudes strongly influence the development of new satisfactory social networks, and the eventual psychosocial adjustment to University life; (f) Perceived Social Support is a significant predictor of psychosocial adjustment; (g) Academic performance does not appear to be related to any personality, social support or psychosocial adjustment variables; (h) Personality (Neuroticism, Extraversion), perceived Social Support and Loneliness appear to change significantly (in absolute terms) over the first academic year, but at the same time they remain relatively stable. Results are discussed in relation to the relevant literature, practical implications for students Counselling, and suggestions for further fruitful research.