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

Publication Details

Exploring Capacity for Meaning Making in Relation to Educational Resilience in First-Year, Full-Time College Students


Author(s): Korgan, C., & Durdella, N.

Citation: Korgan, C., & Durdella, N. (2016). Exploring Capacity for Meaning Making in Relation to Educational Resilience in First-Year, Full-Time College Students. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 28(1), 109-127.

 

Abstract

Students' success in overcoming difficult academic and social circumstances is tied to educational resilience, yet the current body of literature fails to unpack the complexities of resilience in relation to students' interpretation of themselves and environmental messages. To examine this phenomenon, this study used a narrative inquiry approach to analyze the personal experiences of 28 participants drawn from a larger sample of 146 first-year college students. The revised model of multiple dimensions of identity development (MMDI; Abes, Jones, & McEwen, 2007) served as the analytic framework, with special attention given to the concept of cognitive filtration. Results revealed that messages from the home environment, peer groups, and instructors had the primary influence on how students saw themselves. Participants' stories demonstrated that the ways in which they assigned meaning to agents from these groups were nuanced and highly complex. Implications and recommendations are discussed.

 

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