The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively explore the association between low self-control and college student retention.
Cross-sectional survey data were obtained from 369 undergraduate students in the USA and combined with follow-up data on retention. Factor analysis was used to develop and validate the abbreviated eight-item low self-control instrument. Propensity score matching, an analytic technique that permits the assertion of causality without the need for experimental design, was used to examine the relationship between low self-control and second-semester college retention. Use of propensity score matching permitted the pairing of survey respondents under the defined circumstance of low self-control with those respondents not having low self-control under multiple relevant covariates.
The results showed a relationship between low self-control and college retention. Specifically, in the matched sample, those students with low self-control were 8 percent less likely to be retained at the institution at the onset of the second year than their counterparts with higher self-control.
The results of the study prompt the important question of how colleges and universities can alter their structures and processes to better support students with low self-control. Key managerial and administrative implications from the findings of this study revolve around the recognition, motivation, and subsequent performance appraisals of those students with low self-control.
This study extends the quite limited research on how low self-control correlates with retention and subsequently offers insights on how to further support students with low self-control as a way to improve retention outcomes. Additionally, the validated eight-item survey provides a quick, low-cost assessment tool for interested researchers and managers.
The concept that guides the present research is orientation toward disability. This concept is related to, but broader than, the concept of disability identity that has…
The concept that guides the present research is orientation toward disability. This concept is related to, but broader than, the concept of disability identity that has driven some previous research in this area (see, e.g., Gill, 1997; Putnam, 2005). The concept of identity or self suggests a person's definition of him or herself and usually includes both cognitive (“I am a person with a disability”) and evaluative (“I am proud to be a person with a disability”) components.
Sharon N. Barnartt is professor and department chair in the Department of Sociology at Gallaudet University. She has coauthored two books: Deaf President Now: The 1988 Revolution at Gallaudet University (1995) and Disability Protests: Contentious Politics 1970–1999 (2000). She coedited Disability Studies Quarterly, Special Issue on Deafness, volume 18, issue 2, 1998, and the Journal of Disability Policy Studies: Special Issue on Women and Disability, volume 8, 1997. She has also presented papers and published widely in the areas of gender differences in socioeconomic status, disability policy issues, social movements in the deaf and disability communities, and disability in developing countries. She has been a board member and president of the Society for Disability Studies, member and chair of the American Sociological Association's Committee on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, and chair of the American Sociological Association's Disability and Society Section-in-Formation. She is a founder and coeditor of the Research in Social Science and Disability volume series.