Parental influence and relationship among first generation college students attending community college
Gonzales, Ashley Marie
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First generation college (FGC) students face obstacles and encounter challenges to their post-secondary education aspirations. A review of literature identified a deficiency in research with parental participants focused on parental relationship and influences on FGC students who attend community colleges. This study was designed to examine the parental influence and relationship among FGC students attending community college. Participants were interviewed about their parent-child relationship, how that relationship has changed due to college enrollment, how the parent and family have influenced the choice of college, what parents have experienced as their child is pursuing a college degree and the impact college attendance has had as parents of FGC students. The findings showed that parents understood the importance of their role on their child’s college experience; parents committed to interdependence through the college experience, and parents served as “motivators” in support of their children’s’ unique collegiate achievement in the family system. Implications for practice include structured involvement of parents to support student persistence, addressing financial and commuting issues for FGC students, and equipping parents to provide information for other FGC students to broader family and community networks.