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TRANSITION INTO HIGHER EDUCATION: IS THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ACADEMIC SOCIAL IDENTITY IN PSYCHOLOGY STUDENTS IMPORTANT TO ACHIEVEMENT?

McGeough, J (2017) TRANSITION INTO HIGHER EDUCATION: IS THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ACADEMIC SOCIAL IDENTITY IN PSYCHOLOGY STUDENTS IMPORTANT TO ACHIEVEMENT? Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

Identity has been recognised as a possible influence within education research and a student’s ability to achieve their full potential (Bluic, Ellis, Goodyear & Hendres, 2011). The current thesis explores identity in undergraduate Psychology students, in particular it provides a theoretical framework based on Social Identity Theory (Abrams & Hogg, 1990) for understanding how identity is developed. Transition is a time when identity is in flux (Gale & Parker, 2014) and therefore allows for a study identity change, development and the impact of this on attainment. The study took a mixed methods approach starting with two qualitative studies which explored identity processes in undergraduate students. It used a unique approach in Psychology by adopting a meta-ethnographical design (n=8) and an adapted form of Grounded Theory which allows for theory development through the integration of the original researcher’s analysis of the participant’s narratives across the eight papers (Noblit & Hare, 1988). A concept map provides an understanding of how transition and Social Identity Theory is integrated to facilitate identity change. A further qualitative study which uses a traditional focus group design and thematic analysis (n=18). Four themes emerged which present evidence for the importance of transition and identity for students. The qualitative studies also informed the development of a tool to measure Academic Social Identity. Validity and reliability was established through a number of iterations of Exploratory and Confirmatory factor analysis (n=205). The final psychometric scale includes items designed to measure normative processes, evaluation and emotion and reflect the theoretical framework of Social Identity Theory. The final study used a multiple regression analysis with ASI predicting GPA (n=71). The results indicated that the construct ASI had a strong relationship with academic achievement. The thesis discusses policy implications for institutional arrangements of student support services, transition and subject areas and a focus on attrition and student well-being.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: transition, Higher Education, students, Social Identity Theory, Well-Being, HE policy
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2017 16:12
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2017 16:12
Supervisors: McIlroy, D and Palmer-Conn, S
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5484

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