Edited By Carol J. Bruess
9. Staying Connected: Supportive Communication During the College Transition
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Supportive CommunicationDuring the College Transition
MADELINE E. SMITH
AUTHOR NOTE: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. DGE-0824162. The author thanks Jeremy Birnholtz and Kathleen Galvin for supporting and advising this work, and the anonymous participants for sharing their stories.
While it is typical for students in the United States to live with their families in high school, many move out of their family homes to attend college (Pryor et al., 2012). This chapter focuses on the transition to college, a major life change for students who move away from their family homes (Holmes & Rahe, 1967). When they arrive on campus, first-year students often experience a dramatically new environment, one in which they are expected to simultaneously perform academically, form new relationships, and become independent adults. This transition can be extremely stressful, plagued by homesickness, peer pressure, loneliness, and depression (Dyson & Renk, 2006). While many students are able to overcome these challenges and succeed, more than 40% of students who begin bachelors degree programs fail to graduate from those programs within 6 years (Kena et al., 2014), and depression is a significant predictor of dropping out (Eisenberg, Golberstein, & Hunt, 2009). Reducing stress during the transition ← 184 | 185 → to college might help reduce experiences of depression and, in doing so, support emerging adults successfully journey...
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