What Helps and What Hinders?: Exploring Latinx Students’ Adjustment to College
Author(s): Llamas, J., Vidur, M., McKenzie, M. R., Blackburn, C., Hendricks, K., Marinsik, D., Sia, M, & Marquez, R.
Citation: Llamas, J., Vidur, M., McKenzie, M. R., Blackburn, C., Hendricks, K., Marinsik, D., Sia, M, & Marquez, R. (2020). What Helps and What Hinders?: Exploring Latinx Students’ Adjustment to College. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 32(1), 10-27.
The Latinx population continues to be underrepresented in higher education. This qualitative study explored the perceptions of 137 Latinx first-year students on factors that affected their college adjustment. Two primary domains emerged through consensual qualitative research analysis: (a) Detrimental Factors (i.e., issues that hindered adjustment) and (b) Beneficial Factors (i.e., aspects that helped adjustment). The Detrimental domain included seven categories: Academic Challenges, Poor Time Management, Cultural Difficulties, Family Problems, Financial Limitations, Health Problems, and Social Struggles. The Beneficial Factors domain included six categories: Belonging, Cultural Identity, Motivation, Perseverance, Study Skills, and Social Support. Findings demonstrate the complex factors that first-year Latinx students grapple with as they attempt to adjust to college, with the role of Latinx peers emerging as a central factor. Findings stress the need for comprehensive programs that not only attend to social, financial, and academic needs, but also address cultural factors.