Date of Award
Quantitative Research Methods
Measure, Multi-faceted Rasch modeling, MFRM, Retention, Social support
Being born into circumstances of low-income, having a racial minority status, and/or non-college educated families dwindle the opportunities for many students to obtain a college degree (Cox, 2016; Engle & Tinto, 2008; Jenkins et al., 2013). While many institutions of higher education have diligently worked to develop programs geared towards attending the educational inequalities among diverse student populations, there is still a great need for programs centered on the inequalities surrounding social support (Cox, 2016; Ward et al., 2012; Soria & Stebleton, 2012).
The purpose of this study was to develop and assess a measure to examine perceived social support for undergraduate students using the Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) model of college success as a framework for developing social support items that reflected specific events related to the college experience and include questions specific to friend/classmate, family, and college faculty.
Using confirmatory factor analysis and multi-faceted Rasch modeling, the researcher found that the measure demonstrated reliable model fit and was invariant across a grouping variable designed to examine the relationship of the number of marginalized identities and social support. The 3-factor model fit indices indicated that the model had an excellent fit (χ2 (374) = 833.77, p< .001, RMSEA = 0.069, CFI = 0.911, AIC = 955.77) and the factor loadings were all above the .70 cutoff, whereas the 1-factor model indices did not meet either of the suggested fit indices thresholds (χ2 (378) = 3057.51, p < .001, RMSEA= 0.165, CFI = 0.472, AIC = 3171.51). The results were further supported by running a χ2 difference test (χ2 (4) = 2223.74, p < .001). MFRM results indicated that there was not a significant difference between the groups in logit position for the family factor (χ2 (2) = 4.8, p = .09, SD = .07, Separation = 1.23, Strata = 1.97, Reliability = .60) or the friend/classmate factor (χ2 (2) = 4.6, p = .10, SD = .04, Separation = .64, Strata = 1.19, Reliability = .29). However, there was a significant difference between the groups for the faculty factor (χ2 (2) = 7.1, p = .03, SD = .07, Separation = 1.24, Strata = 1.98, Reliability = .60).
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Blizzard, Heather M., "Social Support Among Undergraduate Students: Measure Development and Validation" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1727.
Received from ProQuest
Heather M. Blizzard
Education, Social research