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Faculty Environments, Psychosocial Dispositions, and the Academic Achievement of College Students

Rodney A. Clifton, Raymond P. Perry, Christine Adams Stubbs and Lance W. Roberts
Research in Higher Education
Vol. 45, No. 8 (Dec., 2004), pp. 801-828
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40197367
Page Count: 28
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Faculty Environments, Psychosocial Dispositions, and the Academic Achievement of College Students
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Abstract

Postsecondary institutions seek to create a pedagogical environment that increases students' knowledge, expands their powers of reasoning, and shapes their psychosocial dispositions. In this study, we examined a conceptual model of academic attainment including two aspects of the pedagogical environment experienced by students, namely the cognitive demands set by professors and the social support provided by both professors and other students. Along with these climate variables, three psychosocial dispositions of students, self- esteem, perceived academic control, and coping strategies, were also included. A sample of 854 undergraduate students in the faculties of Arts and Science from a midwestern Research-1 (Canadian) university was used to estimate the effect parameters in the model. The results suggest that both cognitive demands and social support affected the students' perceived academic control and coping strategies. In turn, the pedagogical environment and the psychosocial dispositions affected the students' academic achievement. Implications for establishing and maintaining supportive pedagogical environments and for helping students improve their perceived control and coping strategies are discussed.

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