Title

Understanding Postsecondary Education Enrollment of First-Generation Students From a Social Cognitive Perspective

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-15-2020

Publication Title

Journal of Career Development

First page number:

1

Last page number:

19

Abstract

Data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 were used to describe and compare postsecondary education enrollment patterns of first- and continuing-generation students. Social cognitive career theory was used to explain the processes of educational and career pursuit and attainment, as well as personal, behavioral, and contextual/environmental factors influencing these processes. Postsecondary educational self-efficacy (i.e., a belief or confidence in future educational success) had a significant positive influence on establishing higher postsecondary educational goals for all adolescents. Postsecondary educational self-efficacy and goals, together, also had a substantial positive influence on postsecondary enrollment patterns of both groups. Self-efficacy exerted a stronger total effect for first-generation students. Contextual supports and barriers directly influenced students’ goals but played different roles depending on generational status.

Keywords

First-Generation Students; High School Longitudinal Study; Postsecondary Education Enrollment; Social Cognitive Career Theory

Disciplines

Education | Higher Education | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Language

English

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