The relationship among family problems, individual adjustments and the reentry students' perception of problems with reentry

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Virginia Tech

The composition of the population of undergraduate students in the U. S. has changed dramatically in recent years. A number of factors including societal transformations, a changing economy and demographic trends of the past decade have had particular impact. The cohort of students over age 30 is now the fastest growing segment of students who are entering or returning to colleges and universities. At this age the mature student is generally well established in work, community and family. While much of the research has focused on individual student needs, it has failed to investigate family and education interactions among older married reentry students. This is despite the reality that family concerns are often cited as the primary reason a reentry student withdraws from school.

In this study, stepwise multiple regression was used to determine the extent to which gender, demographic background, and family issues explain the variance in reentry student perception of reentry student problems. This analysis yielded results which support the thesis that regardless of the student's gender, family problems are the strongest predicator of reentry student problems.

Implications from this study may provide invaluable information to counselors, student service professionals, administrators, educators, and other professionals who work with reentry students and their families. This information can help to dispel myths and to aid reentry student and family adjustments.