The impact of parenthood on undergraduate students' perceived level of campus mattering: A comparative study
Taylor, Jeffrey Eugene
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This study seeks undergraduates at universities in the southwestern United States to complete the College Mattering Inventory, an instrument developed by Tovar, Simon, and Lee (2009) that measures a student's perceived level of mattering on his/her college campus. Specifically, this study analyzes the perceived level of campus mattering of undergraduate students with dependent children. Stronger feelings of mattering have been predicted to be positively related to self-esteem and well-being and negatively related to depression and anxiety (France & Finney, 2009). In the campus environment, undergraduate students with children require specific levels of support in order to have an increased level of mattering. These initiatives should occur at both individual and institutional levels as a means to remove barriers. This study compares the level of mattering between undergraduate students with and without children. This study also considers other demographic variables common to undergraduate students with dependent children including race/ethnicity, sex/gender, household income and enrollment status. Utilizing means, t-tests, and correlation coefficients, the study found that students with children tended to have lower mattering scores than their non-parent counterparts primarily in areas involving social relationships and marginality. Within the parent subgroup, several differences emerge, primarily in the area of household income, enrollment status, and age. Institutions should consider developing more inclusive programming to account for undergraduate students with children and give them opportunities to interact with and positively influence the campus culture.