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Title: Transition into higher education : is the development of an academic social identity in psychology students important to achievement?
Author: McGeough, J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6059 3696
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2017
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Identity has been recognised as a possible influence within education research and a student’s ability to achieve their full potential (Bluic, Ellis, Goodyear & Hendres, 2011). The current thesis explores identity in undergraduate Psychology students, in particular it provides a theoretical framework based on Social Identity Theory (Abrams & Hogg, 1990) for understanding how identity is developed. Transition is a time when identity is in flux (Gale & Parker, 2014) and therefore allows for a study identity change, development and the impact of this on attainment. The study took a mixed methods approach starting with two qualitative studies which explored identity processes in undergraduate students. It used a unique approach in Psychology by adopting a meta-ethnographical design (n=8) and an adapted form of Grounded Theory which allows for theory development through the integration of the original researcher’s analysis of the participant’s narratives across the eight papers (Noblit & Hare, 1988). A concept map provides an understanding of how transition and Social Identity Theory is integrated to facilitate identity change. A further qualitative study which uses a traditional focus group design and thematic analysis (n=18). Four themes emerged which present evidence for the importance of transition and identity for students. The qualitative studies also informed the development of a tool to measure Academic Social Identity. Validity and reliability was established through a number of iterations of Exploratory and Confirmatory factor analysis (n=205). The final psychometric scale includes items designed to measure normative processes, evaluation and emotion and reflect the theoretical framework of Social Identity Theory. The final study used a multiple regression analysis with ASI predicting GPA (n=71). The results indicated that the construct ASI had a strong relationship with academic achievement. The thesis discusses policy implications for institutional arrangements of student support services, transition and subject areas and a focus on attrition and student well-being.
Supervisor: McIlroy, D. ; Palmer-Conn, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: LB2300 Higher Education