Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Ann M. Berghout Austin (Committee Co-Chair), Scot M. Allgood (Committee Co-Chair)


Ann M. Berghout Austin


Scot M. Allgood


This study was designed to look at the many factors that influence the transition to college life and academic persistence within the family life cycle framework using the ABCD-XYZ model of resource management. The sample included 348 students with declared minors within the College of Family Life. The dependent measure was student persistence in college. Independent variables included academic and institutional factors, gender and marital factors, family academic traditions, student motivation and commitment, self-esteem, stress factors, and social support. The results of this study indicate that the persistence variables chosen were better able to predict those who remain in school rather than those who drop out. The strongest predictor for students remaining in school in this study was students' USU grade point average. Students with higher GPAs were more likely to remain in school. The other predictor was the students' satisfaction with USU studies and professors, indicating that students leaving school in this sample did so for reasons other than for academic dissatisfaction. Correlations among predictor variables lend support to the theoretical base used in this research, indicating a systemic approach to understanding persistence in college and the many transitions encountered would be useful.