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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Publication Details

The Impact of Perceived Barriers, Academic Anxiety, and Resource Management Strategies on Achievement in First-Year Community College Students


Author(s): Heller, M. L., & Cassady, J. C.

Citation: Heller, M. L., & Cassady, J. C. (2017). The Impact of Perceived Barriers, Academic Anxiety, and Resource Management Strategies on Achievement in First-Year Community College Students. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 29(1), 9-32.

 

Abstract

The study explored the impact of internal and external barriers (e.g., academic anxiety, employment) that place subgroups of college students at risk for academic failure in the first year. The mitigating potential of academic resource management strategies (e.g., time-study environment) was also examined. In a sample of 885 first-semester male and female community college students, analyses revealed significant group differences wherein late-starter females (ages 23-27) reported experiencing the highest degree of perceived barriers. This group also demonstrated lower achievement and less effective resource management skills. Although other groups reported similar levels of barriers to academic success, they tended to have fewer decrements in performance than the late starters, perhaps because they have more resource management strategies employed to cope with such barriers. This research provides an avenue for early identification of barriers that may threaten first-year achievement as well as an understanding of factors that facilitate academic resiliency.

 

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