Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Valentine, Jeffrey C.

Author's Keywords

College students; Social integration; Social functioning; Adjustment; Meta-analysis


College students--Social networks; College students--Conduct of life; Socialization


This meta-analysis draws studies from the literature on college student persistence, need theories, and positive psychology in investigating the strongest predictors of social functioning in college students in the United States and Canada. The predictor categories included background characteristics, measures of personality, mental health symptomology, coping style, and academic predictors. The results indicated that an individual's level of extraversion (a personality predictor), level of institutional commitment (an academic predictor), and levels of anxiety and depression (mental health predictors) are the strongest predictors of social functioning in college. The moderator analyses revealed that these effects are even stronger in public institutions and with samples from the last 15 years. Included is a discussion of the implications of these results for theory and practice, and recommendations for future research.