Examining the Effects of Stress and Campus Climate on the Persistence of Students of Color and White Students: An Application of Bean and Eaton's Psychological Model of Retention

Dawn R. Johnson, Timothy H. Wasserman, Nilay Yildirim, Barbara A. Yonai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study examined the effects of stress and campus climate perceptions on the persistence decisions of students of color and White students using Bean and Eaton's (2000) Psychological Model of College Student Retention. A sample of first-year students (N = 1,491) at a predominantly White research university were survey enduring their second semester and their enrollment status was subsequently tracked after 2 years. Path analysis was conducted on the sample of students of color (n = 548) and White students (n = 943). Results indicated models that explained 27 % of the variance for students of color and 44 % of the variance for White students in persistence after 2 years of college. Among the initial 37 variables included in the models, 17 had significant direct and indirect effects on students' of color persistence including observing racism on campus, having comfortable academic interactions, stress related to the academic environment, and feelings about the campus environment. For White students, 13 variables had significant direct and indirect effects on persistence, including having opportunities for diverse peer interactions and comfortable academic interactions, stress related to the social environment on campus, and feelings about the campus environment. The discussion highlights the usefulness of the Bean and Eaton model for examining retention for students of color and White students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-100
Number of pages26
JournalResearch in Higher Education
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Academic environment
  • Campus environment
  • Campus racial climate
  • Persistence
  • Retention models
  • Stressors
  • Students of color

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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