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A Guide to the Research: Family Issues

Presents research literature and other sources of information about first generation college students, focusing on four-year undergraduate and graduate school experiences.

Recently Added

* Jenkins, Toby S. Family, Community, and Higher Education (Routledge Research in Education, #89). New York: Routledge, 2013. Available in the Education Library: LC238 .F36 2013.
This book explores social topics and experiences that illustrate the various ways in which the family unit influences and impacts college students. In the text, the authors not only explore family memories, but also challenge the traditional lack of inclusion and appreciation for family as knowledge producers and educational allies. This book spotlights the family unit as a critical factor within the educational experience, one that prepares, supports, and sustains educational achievement through both everyday simple lessons and critical and difficult family challenges. Through these experiences, families teach the lessons of survival that often help students to persist in college. Includes Crystal Leigh Endsley, Clara Endsley -- A Generation Makes a Difference: The Impact of Family Values on a First- and Second- Generation College-Going Mother and Daughter, and Joan Marie Giampa, Giovanna Bargh Fini -- Mother May I? A Daughter of a Low-Income, First-Generation, Single-Parent Household Goes to College.

* Larde, Pamela A. Misconceptions of Family Support among First-generation African-American and Mexican-American Students in College Student Self-efficacy Research Studies, Terence Hicks and Michael McFrazier, eds. Lanham [Md.}: University Press of America, 2014, pp. 197-238. Requires Interlibrary Loan.

* Tsai, Tien-I. Socialization and Information Horizons: Source Use Behavior of First-generation and Continuing-generation College Students. Dissertation. Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin, 2013.
Incorporating Sonnenwald's information horizons (IH), Astin's Input-Environment- Outcome (I-E-O) model, and Weidman's model of undergraduate socialization, this study examines FGC and non-FGC students' socialization experiences in relation to their information behavior. The theoretical framework of IH describes how contexts, situations, and social networks shape individuals' information behavior; this framework emphasizes the role of social networks in information-seeking activities and the relationships among sources used by individuals. I-E-O and undergraduate socialization models emphasize the interaction aspect in undergraduate socialization. To delineate the complex networks in college students' information-seeking activities, this study investigates how students position various information sources on their academic IH maps and examines the sequential and referral relationships among sources. Specifically, the study focuses on the roles of peers, professors, and parents in IH. With an explanatory mixed-methods research design, this study investigates how students' backgrounds and college socialization experiences influence their IH. The findings also demonstrate that students with different FGC status and in different class cohorts have different socialization experiences. Socializing agents, such as parents, peers, and professors, are important factors affecting students' academic source use behavior; information literacy courses positively affect students' use of the library and experts. The study reveals that socialization elements are an important aspect to be added to the framework of IH and helps advance the use of mixed-method approaches to study information behavior.

* Williams, Ashley. Family Context Influence on College Entry Math Proficiency among First-generation Students. Thesis. College of Education, Health, and Human Services, Kent State University, 2013.
The purpose of this study was to utilize an ecological perspective to examine how parent-adolescent relationship quality (microsystem), parental involvement (mesosystem), and parental employment characteristics (exosystem) relate to math proficiency at college entry for first-generation students. The participants in this study were 107 freshman first-generation college students from Kent State University. The majority of the sample resided with both parents during high school, 37 resided with just their mother, and five resided with just their father during high school. The participants completed several measures to retroactively assess the parent-adolescent relationship quality, parental involvement, and parental employment characteristic of the parent(s) they resided with during high school. In addition, a pre-college math coursework, college mathematics, and a demographic measure were completed as well by the participants. The results were correlated with their placement into math courses upon matriculation to determine what factors relate to math proficiency. Findings indicate a parent-adolescent relationship quality variable for mother's and father's are related to math proficiency at college entry for first-generation students. Overall, the variables of the parental-adolescent relationship quality are salient indicators of math proficiency for first-generation students.

Family Issues

* Bryan, Elizabeth and Leigh Ann Simmons. Family Involvement: Impacts on Postsecondary Educational Success for First-Generation Appalachian College Students,  Journal of College Student Development, vol. 50, issue 4 (Jul-Aug 2009),  pp. 391-406.
First-generation college students face a number of barriers to academic success and completion of their degrees. Using Bronfenbrenner's (1989) ecological theory as a framework, qualitative research was used to examine the experiences of 10 first-generation Appalachian Kentucky university students (mean age = 21 years) and factors they attributed to their educational success. Content analysis was used to analyze the data. Seven themes representing participants' experiences in a university setting were identified: (a) close-knit families and communities, (b) separate identities, (c) knowledge of college procedures, (d) pressure to succeed, (e) returning home, (f ) the pervasiveness of poverty, and (g) the importance of early intervention programming. Additional areas for research and potential policy adjustments for universities serving this population are presented. (Contains 1 figure.) (See also: * Bryan, Elizabeth Ann. Family involvement : impacts on post-secondary educational success for first-generation Appalachian students. University of Kentucky, 2007. Young Library - Theses 5th Floor Stacks)

* Bueler, Kate, "Untold stories: college persistence for first-generation students: family roots of inspiration and burden to accomplish the family dream," in Our promise: achieving educational equality for America's children : selected essays and articles, edited by Maurice R. Dyson and Daniel B. Weddle, Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2009. Requires Interlibrary Loan.

* Carter, Carolyn S. and Ruby Robinson. "Can We Send Some of the Money Back Home to Our Families?" Tensions of Transition in an Early Intervention Program for Rural Appalachian Students, Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 1-5, 2002).
This paper explores issues surrounding the interplay of college preparation, financial assistance, cultural norms, and transition to college for Appalachian first-generation college students from low-income rural families. The Robinson Scholars Program aims to significantly improve the college-going rate in 29 counties in eastern Kentucky. The program uses a highly competitive application process to identify scholarship recipients in the eighth grade, awards scholarships covering the full costs of 8-10 semesters in the University of Kentucky and associated community colleges, addresses the needs of student participants while they complete high school, and assists in the transition to college life. Surveys, focus groups, and interviews were conducted with approximately 50 Robinson scholars in a "rising junior" summer academic program and with 5 college freshmen receiving Robinson scholarships. Questions covered expectations and realities in making the transition to college, including issues related to homesickness and ties to family and community, new friendships and dealing with diversity, freedom and responsibility, and academic transitions. Implications for transition programs are discussed with regard to building bridges between the university and rural communities, providing social support to college students, dealing with students' unrealistic beliefs that they were well prepared for college, and promoting faculty-student connections. Broader program impacts on the region are also discussed.


* Ceballo, Rosario. From Barrios to Yale: The Role of Parenting Strategies in Latino Families, Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, vol. 26, issue 2 (May 2004) pp. 171-86.
A study was conducted to investigate the role of parents and home characteristics in the academic success of Latino students from impoverished, immigrant families, and to identify parenting practices that contribute to the academic achievement of first-generation, U.S.-born Latino students attending Yale University. Findings revealed four family background characteristics that contributed to the students' scholarly achievements: good parental commitment to the importance of education; parental facilitation of a child's autonomy; nonverbal parental expressions of support for educational targets; and the presence of supportive faculty mentors and role models in the lives of students.

* Dennis, Jessica M., Jean S. Phinney and Lizette Chauteco. The Role of Motivation, Parental Support, and Peer Support in the Academic Success of Ethnic Minority First-Generation College Students, Journal of College Student Development, vol. 46, issue 3 (May-Jun 2005), pp. 223-236.
The role of personal motivational characteristics and environmental social supports in college outcomes was examined in a longitudinal study of 100 ethnic minority first-generation college students. Personal/career-related motivation to attend college in the fall was a positive predictor and lack of peer support was a negative predictor of college adjustment the following spring. Lack of peer support also predicted lower spring GPA.

* Fann, Amy, Karen McClafferty Jarsky, and Patricia M. McDonough. >Parent Involvement in the College Planning Process: A Case Study of P-20 Collaboration. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, vol. 8, issue 4 (2009), pp. 374-393. (Peer Reviewed Journal).
Parents who have not had opportunities to attend college themselves have neither experience with the process of college preparation and college going nor sufficient access to needed information. This article describes a collaborative venture between a university department of education and a cluster of local schools designed to help parents of first-generation students become active participants in their children's college preparation and planning, shedding light on the importance of parental involvement in the college-going process.

* Gatto, Laura. An exploratory, phenomenological study of the lived experience of first-generation female students. Thesis, University of Guelph (Canada), 2010, 173 pp.
This thesis is an investigation of the lived experience of first generation female students in their first year of study at the University of Guelph in Guelph Ontario, Canada. The study highlights the importance of learning about the lived experience of first-generation female students, from their perspectives and in their own words. As previous research focuses most often on the demographics, academic performance, and persistence rates of first-generation students, this study is significant as it approaches the female first-generation student experience from a phenomenological standpoint. The women spoke at length about the effect their parents and siblings had on their academic lives. They talked of their experiences transitioning to university and the issues and challenges associated with their new environments. The participants in this study also shared what advice they would give to other first-generation students entering higher education.

* Gofen, Anat. Family Capital: How First-Generation Higher Education Students Break the Intergenerational Cycle, Family Relations, vol. 58, issue 1 (Feb 2009), pp. 104-120.
Individuals who attain a higher education, whereas both their parents did not, embody the realization of social mobility. They are referred to as first-generation higher education students. Previous analyses had often portrayed them as succeeding despite their family background. This research suggests that although they face many challenges, their families are often facilitators of their success. In-depth, semistructured interviews were used to collect data from Israeli first-generation students (N= 50). We employed a grounded theory approach, and our analysis reveals that breaking the intergenerational cycle of educational level inheritance involves day-to-day family life that prioritizes education through nonmaterial resources. We conceptualized this investment of nonmaterial resources as family capital. A better understanding of this role is valuable for designing efficient policy.

* Hartig, Nadine and Fran Steigerwald. Understanding Family Roles and Ethics in Working with First-Generation College Students and Their Families. Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, vol. 15, issue 2 (2007), pp. 159-162. [Requires Interlibrary Loan]
This article examines the family roles and ethics of first-generation college students and their families through discussion of a case vignette. London's family roles applied to first-generation college students are discussed. Narrative therapy practices and an ethical model that examines the value process of counselors are explored as possible solutions.

* Jenkins, Toby S. Family, Community, and Higher Education (Routledge Research in Education, #89). New York: Routledge, 2013. Available in the Education Library: LC238 .F36 2013.
This book explores social topics and experiences that illustrate the various ways in which the family unit influences and impacts college students. In the text, the authors not only explore family memories, but also challenge the traditional lack of inclusion and appreciation for family as knowledge producers and educational allies. This book spotlights the family unit as a critical factor within the educational experience, one that prepares, supports, and sustains educational achievement through both everyday simple lessons and critical and difficult family challenges. Through these experiences, families teach the lessons of survival that often help students to persist in college. Includes Crystal Leigh Endsley, Clara Endsley -- A Generation Makes a Difference: The Impact of Family Values on a First- and Second- Generation College-Going Mother and Daughter, and Joan Marie Giampa, Giovanna Bargh Fini -- Mother May I? A Daughter of a Low-Income, First-Generation, Single-Parent Household Goes to College.

* Larde, Pamela A. Misconceptions of Family Support among First-generation African-American and Mexican-American Students in College Student Self-efficacy Research Studies, Terence Hicks and Michael McFrazier, eds. Lanham [Md.}: University Press of America, 2014, pp. 197-238. Requires Interlibrary Loan.

* Latus, Maryann Therese. Stressors among First-generation College Students: A Retrospective Inquiry. Dissertation, Dept. of Counseling, Indiana, State University, 2006.
A multiple case study qualitative approach was used to examine the stressors among first-generation college students. The students were in their senior year at a medium-sized Midwestern public university. The researcher conducted two focus groups and a total of 10 in-depth interviews with first-generation college students. Several themes emerged from the data that was collected.The overarching themes that served as the primary framework for this study were stressors related to family, friends and the university. One of the major themes, how the participants coped with their particular stressors, is discussed in detail.

* London, Howard B. Breaking Away: A Study of First-Generation College Students and Their Families. American Journal of Education, vol. 97, issue 1 (Feb 1989), pp. 144-70.
Uses psychoanalytic and family systems theory to explore the following: (1) how college matriculation for first-generation college students is linked to multi-generational family dynamics; and (2) how these students reconcile (or do not reconcile) the often conflicting requirements of family membership and educational mobility.

* McCarron, Graziella Pagliarulo and Karen Kurotsuchi Inkelas. The Gap between Educational Aspirations and Attainment for First-Generation College Students and the Role of Parental Involvement. Journal of College Student Development, vol. 47, issue 5 (Sep-Oct 2006), pp. 534-549.
The primary purpose of this study was to examine if parental involvement had a significant influence on the educational aspirations of first-generation students as compared to the educational aspirations of non-first-generation students. Additionally, the study investigated if the educational aspirations of first-generation students differed from their actual educational attainments. Lastly, the study explored the differences in educational attainment for first generation students by gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of 1,879 students generated by the National Educational Longitudinal Study 1988-2000 was used as the basis for analysis.

* Meetze, Tracy E. Factors contributing to first-generation college student success. University of South Carolina, 2006, 63 pages.
The purpose of this study is to examine factors that influence first-generation college student success in the postsecondary setting. Four research questions guided the study: (1) How do the characteristics of the family shape first-generation college student success in the postsecondary setting? (2) How do the personal characteristics of first-generation college students shape their success in the postsecondary setting? (3) How do the characteristics of peers and peer groups shape first-generation college student success in the postsecondary setting? (4) How do the characteristics of postsecondary institutions shape first-generation college student success in the postsecondary setting? Data sources for the study included surveys and interviews. Survey data were collected and analyzed statistically and interview data were collected, transcribed, and coded for patterns and themes. The interview data were then used to support findings from the survey data. There were several findings in the study. The influence of family is present for students throughout their lives. The most important factor of family influence is the effect the level of education of both the mother and father has on the success of first-generation college students. When first-generation college students enter primary school, specific patterns of the structure of schooling begin to influence their college success. Tracking is one of the structures established in elementary and secondary schools that influences this long-term success. Intertwined with the influence of tracking is the influence of peers. Tracking often forms peer groups and differentiates between those who will go to college and those who will not. Finally, at the college and university level, the most influential factor is the mentoring experience provided during the attainment of a Doctorate Degree.

* Mowbray, Orion Peter. First Generation College Students' Perception of Parental Attitudes: An Exploratory Study. Master of Arts, Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology Dept., Eastern Michigan University, 2008.
Parental support among first generation college students is largely understudied. While some argue that many parents lack necessary information and knowledge to help their children succeed while in college, this work argues that parents of first generation college students contribute a large amount of emotional support towards their children while in college. There are several benefits of receiving a high degree of emotional support, one of which is constructing a potential buffer against identity threat that many first generation college students face while on campus. Through eleven case studies, this work examines the roles of parental support of first generation college students as well as both parents’ and participants’ views of college.

* Ortega, Jessica Rae. Academic persistence of Latinas in higher education: The supportive role of the mother-daughter relationship. Arizona State University, 2006, 126 pages.
Research studies have demonstrated the importance of social support for Latinas' persistence in college however researchers have provided minimal focus on the role of maternal support on Latinas' academic persistence in college. The present study investigated Latinas' perceived maternal support and its relationship to their persistence decisions made in college. The sample consisted of 59 Latinas who were first generation in college, undergraduates, and self-identified with Hispanic, Latina, Chicana, Mexican, or Mexican-American ethnic labels. Thirty-six Latinas were affiliated with the Hispanic Mother Daughter Program, an early intervention mentoring program that prepares Latinas for college. Participation for Latinas in this program starts in the 8th grade and requires the involvement of their mothers or maternal caregivers. The relationship between perceived maternal support and academic persistence was not statistically significant. Although the primary hypothesis was not supported, it may serve as a foundation for further examination of maternal support and its role in Latina daughters' academic persistence. An elaboration of this and other results are discussed as well as implications and recommendations for future study of this area of research.

* Patton, Stacey. "Here's Smarty-Pants, Home for the Holidays," Chronicle of Higher Education, Vol. 59, Issue 15 (12/7/2012), p. 16.
Besides having to deal with academic demands, many graduate students from working-class backgrounds feel like strangers in their own families during the holidays. Tensions, misunderstandings, and awkwardness can leave them torn between cultures and identities, amid family members who are envious or angry that their loved one has gone off and come back changed.

* Peterson, Robert. Separate Ways, Worlds Apart: Exploring Changes in First-generation College Student Attachment Levels. Thesis, Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education, University of Wisconsin, 2011.
First-generation college students are a prominent population in higher education. This quantitative study examined differences in college student attachment towards parents and peers based on first-generation student status and academic class standing. Participants took the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA). Data analysis revealed that first-generation students have significantly different levels of trust, communication, alienation, and attachment towards their parents than nonfirst- generation students. Academic class standing was not found to be significantly related to attachment scores. The discussion states that first-generation college students have unique relationships with their parents. Both first-generation college students and their parents may require more resources, guidance, and support than non-first-generation students in order to stay and succeed in college.

* Price, Jerry. Using Purposeful Messages to Educate and Reassure Parents, New Directions for Student Services, no. 122 (Sum 2008), pp. 29-41.
In the cycle of a student's college life, student affairs professionals have opportunities to engage parents and families. On these occasions, parents are searching for information about the institution and the experiences of their children. It is important that student affairs professionals be ready to provide this information and respond in a helpful and coherent manner. However, many times there are important questions the parents don't ask--perhaps don't even know to ask. Student affairs professionals should anticipate these unasked questions and respond as if the parents are asking. These interactions with parents--particularly the parents of new students--should be handled as open invitations to deliver messages critical to student success. In this article, the author discusses the importance of using purposeful messages to educate and reassure parents about the nature of student experience.

* Priebe, Lisa C., Tamra L. Ross and Karl W. Low. Exploring the Role of Distance Education in Fostering Equitable University Access for First Generation Students: A Phenomenological Survey, International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, vol. 9, issue 1 (Feb 2008), pp. 1-12.
Using a qualitative study of distance education (DE) learners whose parents have not accessed post-secondary education (PSE), this paper proposes themes for further research in the study of first-generation students (FGS). This survey asked a number of open-ended questions about parental influences on university enrollment, and respondents' reasons for choosing university in general and DE in particular. Findings were consistent with current research in many areas focusing on debt aversion, lower parental guidance, older starting age, and difficulty separating from familial roles. Differences were noted, including lower parental valuation of PSE and an increased emphasis on non-educational priorities, such as family and work. The limitations of the current study are discussed, as well as suggestions for future FGS research in DE.

* Purswell, Katherine E., Ani Yazedjian, and Michelle L. Toews. Students' Intentions and Social Support as Predictors of Self-Reported Academic Behaviors: A Comparison of First- and Continuing-Generation College Students, Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, vol. 10, issue 2 (2008), pp. 191-206.
The purpose of this analysis was to examine academic intentions, parental support, and peer support as predictors of self-reported academic behaviors among a sample of 329 first- and continuing-generation college freshmen. Regression analyses revealed that different variables predicted academic behaviors for the three groups examined (students whose parents had no college experience, some college experience, or a college degree). Specifically, all three independent variables--intention, parental support, and peer support--were predictive of self-reported academic behavior for students whose parents had at least a bachelor's degree. However, peer support was the only variable predictive of academic behavior for the students whose parents had some college experience and intention was the only significant predictor for first-generation college students.

* Seay, Sandra E., A Comparison of Family Care Responsibilities of First-Generation and Non-First-Generation Female Administrators in the Academy, Educational Management Administration & Leadership, vol. 38, issue 5 (Sep 2010), pp. 563-577. Requires Interlibrary Loan.
Greater numbers of women are entering and working in higher education. Some of these women are the first in their families to attain academic degrees. They are known as first-generation students, and the care of children and others is often responsible for their withdrawal from academic study. This study addressed the void of information concerning the post-baccalaureate work experiences of first-generation women by documenting their presence in higher education administrative positions and by determining that providing care for a greater number of dependent children than their peers remained in the profile of first-generation women who had transitioned from undergraduate students to academic administrators. An online questionnaire was used to examine the responses of 345 women working in North Carolina community colleges, colleges and universities. Of the respondents, 38.8 percent were first-generation; 17.4 percent of the first-generation respondents provided financial support to a parent or other. The data results and a literature review are used to suggest that family-friendly workplace policies including equitable pay for women and health insurance options that allow coverage for elderly parents could assist first-generation women who aspire to academic positions within higher education.

* Stieha, Vicki. Expectations and Experiences: The Voice of a First-Generation First-Year College Student and the Question of Student Persistence, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education (QSE), vol. 23, issue 2 (Mar 2010), pp. 237-249.
This single case study takes a phenomenological approach using the voice centered analysis to analyze qualitative interview data so that the voice of this first-generation college student is brought forward. It is a poignant voice filled with conflicting emotional responses to the desire for college success, for family stability, for meaningful friendships, and for understanding the self. In combination with other research calling for an expansion of the dominant theory of persistence, this research raises the importance of elevating family relationships in the student persistence model.

* Sy, Susan R., Kristen Fong, Rebecca Carter, Julia Boehme and Amy Alpert. "Parent Support and Stress among First-Generation and Continuing-Generation Female Students during the Transition to College," Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, vol. 13, issue 3 (2011-2012),  pp. 383-398.
This study compares first-generation and continuing-generation female college students in terms of: (a) level of parents' emotional and informational support; (b) level of students' stress; and (c) the relationship between both types of parent support and students' stress during the transition to college. We collected survey data from an ethnically diverse sample of 339 young women about to enter college. Results indicate first-generation students perceive less emotional and informational parent support than do continuing-generation students. First-generation students who perceive higher levels of parent emotional support have less stress than those who do not. However, neither type of parent support significantly predicted stress levels for continuing-generation students. (Contains 3 tables.)

* Torres, Mellie. From the Bricks to the Hall. Harvard Educational Review, vol. 79, issue 4 (Winter 2009), pp. 594-600.
Situating herself on the cusp between life in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey, and her new world at Seton Hall University, Mellie Torres describes the painful awareness of a growing distance between herself, as the first to go to college, and her family. In so doing, she reveals the inherent losses of leaving home and the painful contrast between her own life story and that of her brother Isaac, who was denied the opportunity to thrive. In grieving the loss of her brother, Torres asks readers to honor his unrealized promise.

* Tsai, Tien-I. Socialization and Information Horizons: Source Use Behavior of First-generation and Continuing-generation College Students. Dissertation. Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin, 2013.
Incorporating Sonnenwald's information horizons (IH), Astin's Input-Environment- Outcome (I-E-O) model, and Weidman's model of undergraduate socialization, this study examines FGC and non-FGC students' socialization experiences in relation to their information behavior. The theoretical framework of IH describes how contexts, situations, and social networks shape individuals' information behavior; this framework emphasizes the role of social networks in information-seeking activities and the relationships among sources used by individuals. I-E-O and undergraduate socialization models emphasize the interaction aspect in undergraduate socialization. To delineate the complex networks in college students' information-seeking activities, this study investigates how students position various information sources on their academic IH maps and examines the sequential and referral relationships among sources. Specifically, the study focuses on the roles of peers, professors, and parents in IH. With an explanatory mixed-methods research design, this study investigates how students' backgrounds and college socialization experiences influence their IH. The findings also demonstrate that students with different FGC status and in different class cohorts have different socialization experiences. Socializing agents, such as parents, peers, and professors, are important factors affecting students' academic source use behavior; information literacy courses positively affect students' use of the library and experts. The study reveals that socialization elements are an important aspect to be added to the framework of IH and helps advance the use of mixed-method approaches to study information behavior.

* Wang, Tiffany R. Understanding the Memorable Messages First-Generation College Students Receive from On-Campus Mentors, Communication Education, vol. 61,  issue 4 (Oct 2012), pp. 335-357.
The current study examined the memorable messages first-generation college students received from their on-campus mentors about college and family. Accordingly, 30 first-generation college students shared mentors' memorable messages during in-depth, semistructured, responsive interviews. Four hundred sixty-seven pages of transcripts were analyzed for emergent themes. First-generation college students' voices revealed five college memorable messages themes including (a) pursuing academic success, (b) valuing school, (c) increasing future potential, (d) making decisions, and (e) support and encouragement. In addition, three family memorable messages themes emerged, including (a) comparing and contrasting, (b) counting on family, and (c) recognizing the importance of family. (Contains 2 tables.)

* Williams, Ashley. Family Context Influence on College Entry Math Proficiency among First-generation Students. Thesis. College of Education, Health, and Human Services, Kent State University, 2013.
The purpose of this study was to utilize an ecological perspective to examine how parent-adolescent relationship quality (microsystem), parental involvement (mesosysem), and parental employment characteristics (exosystem) relate to math proficiency at college entry for first-generation students. The participants in this study were 107 freshman first-generation college students from Kent State University. The majority of the sample resided with both parents during high school, 37 resided with just their mother, and five resided with just their father during high school. The participants completed several measures to retroactively assess the parent-adolescent relationship quality, parental involvement, and parental employment characteristic of the parent(s) they resided with during high school. In addition, a pre-college math coursework, college mathematics, and a demographic measure were completed as well by the participants. The results were correlated with their placement into math courses upon matriculation to determine what factors relate to math proficiency. Findings indicate a parent-adolescent relationship quality variable for mother's and father's are related to math proficiency at college entry for first-generation students. Overall, the variables of the parental-adolescent relationship quality are salient indicators of math proficiency for first-generation students.

* York-Anderson, Dollean C. and Sharon L. Bowman. Assessing the College Knowledge of First-Generation and Second-Generation College Students. Journal of College Student Development, vol. 32, issue 2 (Mar 1991), pp. 116-22. Available in the journal section of the Education Library.
Examined basic knowledge about college that first-generation (n=58) and second-generation (n=142) college students possess, and assessed their parents' support in passing this knowledge on to them. Found second-generation perceived more support from their families for attending college than did first-generation students.