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Title:Undergraduate Students as Parents: Managing Multiple Roles During Emerging Adulthood
Author(s):Branscomb, Kathryn Ruth
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Wiley, Angela R.
Department / Program:Human and Community Development
Discipline:Human and Community Development
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Abstract:In comparison to their childless peers, undergraduate students with children are at much greater risk for college dropout. In order to design services to support student parent retention, studies must first be conducted to better understand these students' experiences and needs in managing their multiple roles. This project explored an understudied segment of the student parent population, 18-25 year olds, from the perspective of the student parents as well as their campus child care directors. The goals of this study were to provide descriptive information about this population, to examine the factors related to successful role management, and to provide campus-based support service recommendations. Student parents and program directors were recruited at associate's, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral institutions in each region of the United States. A total of 151 student parents and 15 directors from 25 colleges participated. Student parents completed an electronic survey regarding their characteristics, role management experiences, and support service needs and directors completed a survey about student parent support needs. Most students felt fairly confident in their ability to successfully manage their role responsibilities yet reported often experiencing role stress, overload, and conflict. Participants engaging in the identity exploration typical of the 18-25 year old emerging adulthood period reported experiencing more role management stress. First-generation, ethnic minority, single parents, and part-time students had fewer family support and income resources available than did other participants. Those students who received more support from instructors and student peers for their parenting and work roles experienced less role conflict, overload, and stress, and greater feelings of coping/mastery. Student parents and program directors strongly emphasized the need for more subsidized campus child care, financial support, family housing, and other such campus-based services for student parents. Parents lacked awareness of many currently available community/campus services and asked to be better informed of these services by their colleges. Further work in this area is needed to explore the applicability of findings to student parent fathers who were under-represented in this sample and to learn how to best facilitate instructor and college student peer support for undergraduate student parents.
Issue Date:2006
Description:207 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3242799
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2006

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