Extracurricular Involvement as a Predictor of Social Integration Among First-Generation College Students

George Charles Perron, Fordham University


As postsecondary education becomes increasingly more important for career placement, the need to address disparate outcomes regarding completion and success among first-generation college students (FGCS; students whose parents never completed college) has become ever more salient. Retention models identify social integration as a key process for the persistence necessary for completion, particularly among underrepresented populations like FGCS, and identify sense of belonging and perceived peer support as integral subjective assessments for facilitating this process. Despite wide acceptance of this framework, mechanisms of the social integration process and its effect on outcomes connected with academic success, such as psychological functioning, have been relatively understudied. This study seeks examine the impact extracurricular involvement has on the social integration factors of sense of belonging and perceived peer support, and in turn the impact these factors have on reducing perceived stress of FGCS across their first semester of college. Results indicate extracurricular involvement does predict higher sense of belonging and increases in perceived peer support, and that these factors in turn predict decreases in perceived stress. These findings suggest extracurricular involvement does impact psychological outcomes connected with academic success through at least two mechanisms of social integration and further research is warranted to explore how these factors might be optimized across different levels and types of extracurricular engagement.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology|Personality psychology|Social psychology

Recommended Citation

Perron, George Charles, "Extracurricular Involvement as a Predictor of Social Integration Among First-Generation College Students" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28644943.