Examining the role of the university environment, cultural congruity, social support, and self-efficacy on the academic persistence of black students attending predominantly white institutions and historically black colleges or universities
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The present study incorporated the person-environment fit theory (PE Fit; Lewin, 1938; Parsons, 1909), retention and attrition theories (Bean, 1980; Tinto, 1975), and social cognitive career theory (SCCT; Lent, Brown, and Hackett, 1994) to examine academic persistence intentions among Black undergraduate students at PWIs (n=103) and HBCUs (n=157). Structural Equation Modeling was used to test a model depicting relationships between contextual (i.e. fit and support), learning experience (i.e. college GPA) and cognitive (i.e. college self-efficacy) variables as hypothesized in SCCT. Results indicated that the hypothesized structural model provided poor fit to the data, self-efficacy did not significantly lead to intentions to persist, and self-efficacy did not mediate the relationship of college GPA on intentions to persist. An alternative structural model based on statistical findings and theoretical foundation was created, where college GPA and fit were found to mediate the effects of self-efficacy on intentions to persist. Multisample analyses revealed no significant difference for the structural model as a function of institution type (i.e. HBCU or PWI). Additional analyses revealed that while students attending HBCUs perceived significantly greater overall fit, and cultural congruity with their environment, students at PWIs indicated significantly higher intentions to persist. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
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