Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Factors Negatively Affecting University Adjustment from the Views of First-Year University Students: The Case of Mersin University*

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Factors Negatively Affecting University Adjustment from the Views of First-Year University Students: The Case of Mersin University*

Article excerpt

Life transitions, including new experiences and changes, naturally involve an adjustment process in the lives of individuals. The shift from high school to university is one major life transition for young adults (Buote, 2006). This transition period is a change and adjustment process accompanied by significant challenges and stresses for emerging adults to meet the personal demands of the new academic and social environment (Berzonsky & Kuk, 2000; Chickering & Reisser, 1993; D'Augelli & Jay, 1991; Dyson & Renk, 2006; Erikson, 1968; Jackson, 2008; Lau, 2003; Tuna, 2003). In other words, university life requires that young adults learn to cope with various challenges and take actions to integrate into the university's academic and social life, meet academic demands, establish new friendship networks, become more independent, take responsibility in their personal lives, and make career choices (Alada?, 2009; Ayhan, 2005; Duchesne, Ratelle, Larose, & Guay, 2007; Gizir, 2005; Pittman & Richmond, 2008; Tuna, 2003). Actually, while most freshmen are able to deal with these transitional challenges and adjust to university life successfully, some feel overwhelmed and experience various adjustment problems (Bernier, Larose, & Whipple, 2005; Gerdes & Mallinckrodt, 1994; Kuh, 2005; Upcraft & Gardner, 1989; Upcraft, Gardner, & Barefoot, 2005) that lead them to drop out of university (Buote et al., 2007; Estrada, Dupoux, & Wolman, 2005; McGrath & Braunstein, 1997; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1980; Robbins, Lese, & Herrick, 1993).

Related literature considers university adjustment as a multifaceted and complex phenomenon (Baker & Siryk, 1984, 1986; Baker, McNeil, & Siryk, 1985). As such, the process of university adjustment is described mainly by identifying four types of adjustment, namely academic adjustment, social adjustment, personal/emotional adjustment, and goal commitment/institutional attachment (Baker & Siryk, 1984). Briefly, academic adjustment involves students' perceived ability to achieve school work and acceptance of the academic environment; social adjustment refers to dealing with a new social environment effectively such as by establishing positive and accepting friendships and being involved in social activities on campus; personal/ emotional adjustment includes the well-being of students; and institutional attachment refers to students' feelings of commitment to university and satisfaction with attending a particular university (Baker & Siryk, 1986).

Research on university adjustment indicates that various psychosocial variables are strongly associated with the adjustment levels of university students (Dyson & Renk, 2006; Leong, Bonz, & Zachar, 1997; Reischl & Hirsch, 1989). Specifically, demographics (Ar?, 1989; Ayhan, 2005; Dyson & Renk, 2006; Wintre & Bowers, 2007; Yal?m, 2007), locus of control and self-esteem (Bettencourt, Charlton, Eubanks, & Kernahan, 1999; Njus & Brockway, 1999; Sun-Sel???k, 2009), stress and anxiety (Pancer, Pratt, Michael, & Alisat, 2000), self-efficacy (Chemers, Hu, & Garcia, 2001; Torres & Solberg, 2001), personality characteristics (McGaha & Fitzpatrick, 2005; Wintre & Yaffe, 2000; Yal?m, 2007), and coping styles (Dyson & Renk, 2006; Tuna, 2003) are related with overall university adjustment.

Research also shows that the number of students seeking counseling for university adjustment had the highest percentage among all problem areas within the first period of university life in Turkey (Do?an, 2012; Gizir, 2014). Although related research emphasizes the importance of identifying factors affecting university adjustment, only a limited number of studies focus on the adjustment of first- year university students in Turkey. These studies indicate that university adjustment is associated with demographic variables (Ayhan, 2005; Sürücü & Bacanl?, 2010), academic procrastination (Çak? …

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