Examining resiliency in college students from single-parent structures
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According to recent data, approximately twenty-seven percent of children under age eighteen live in single-parent households. The majority of research has focused on negative outcomes associated with children and adolescents from one-parent households, including poor academic performance and increased delinquency, comparing them to their two-parent counterparts. The bulk of current literature neglects to consider potentially normative functioning for those whom were raised in a single-parent home, especially psychosocial coping resources for the higher educational setting. Hierarchical regressions examined the role of three psychosocial factors for a number of positive outcomes for 319 college students from single-mother homes. Healthy family functioning was found to be predictive of fewer distressing mental health symptoms, higher levels of life satisfaction, and higher degrees of self-confidence in domains pertinent to college success when controlling for relevant demographic factors. Resiliency and optimism were also found to be predictive of these outcomes, with resiliency having the strongest predictive capabilities of all psychosocial factors. However, psychosocial predictors did not meaningfully predict grade point average (GPA), a measure of academic performance. Moderation analyses revealed that optimism did not serve as a useful moderator between resiliency and life satisfaction or college self-confidence. Study findings suggest interventions to bolster resiliency and coping may benefit students from single-mother households college success, in a similar fashion to what we would expect to see amongst the general college student population.