Personality, Daily Activities and College Adjustment: Predictors of Student Success
This exploratory study examined whether measures of personality along with a questionnaire that asked about general daily activities at the start of the semester would predict college adjustment among first year college students. Forty-one freshmen students in an introductory psychology course participated in the study. Course grades, subjective well-being, and responses from a college adjustment questionnaire at the end of the semester were used as measures of adjustment. Regression equations were used to identify predictors of college adjustment. Results from the personality survey showed that students’ levels of stability at the start of the semester were a significant predictor of general well-being at the semester’s end. The activities questionnaire also produced significant findings. In general, students engaged in positive activities more than twice as often as negative activities. However, the number of times students ate too much significantly predicted lower course grades, the number of times students visited a physician or health center predicted lower levels of general adjustment, the number of times the student had difficulty falling asleep at the beginning of the semester was a significant predictor of both lower well-being and poor college adjustment at the semester’s end. On the other hand, the number of times that students wrote down their thoughts and feelings at the beginning of the semester significantly predicted general college adjustment at the end of the semester. When the responses to the questionnaire were added together to create positive and negative composites, the Negative Activities composite significantly predicted lower course grades at the end of the semester. Results provide preliminary evidence that surveys such as these may help college personnel predict student adjustment and perhaps aid in the development of early intervention strategies. Further research is warranted.
Keywords: Psychology, Personality, College Adjustment, Well-being
Dr. Arthur McGovern
Assistant Professor, Psychology, Nichols College