Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Psychology & Research

Committee Chair

Leigh Harrell-Williams

Committee Member

Christian Mueller

Committee Member

Eli Jones

Committee Member

Loretta McGregor


Research suggests a surge in the number of students attending a college or university. However, whether first-generation students complete their degree program remains a problem. Approximately thirty-three percent of first-generation students who began postsecondary education in 2003–04 left postsecondary education without earning a postsecondary credential. The current study investigated the psychometric properties of a revised version of a measure of academic, research, and social self-efficacy. Specifically, a sample of 403 Mturk participants ’completed the Graduate Education Self-Efficacy Scale (GESES). There were three primary research questions: 1) For a revised version of the GESES, is the original three-factor structure supported, 2) How do the items on the revised version of the GESES perform in terms of item difficulty and discrimination, and 3) Is there evidence of measurement invariance (differential item and scale performance) when comparing groups of first-generation and non-first-generation groups? Findings included evidence for reporting three subscale scores for the GESES, support that the items as-revised function well and do not require further modifications, and a lack of measurement invariance with regards to first-generation status with the current sample.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open Access