Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Douglas Strohmer

Committee Member

Sara Bridges

Committee Member

Ronnie Priest

Committee Member

Stephen Leierer


The impact of first-generation status and family cohesion on the career thoughts of college students was investigated. While prior research had examined the differences between first-generation and non-first-generation college students, few studies have focused on the career-decision making of first-generation college students. No research to date had specifically explored the relationship between first-generation status, family cohesion, and negative career thoughts of college students. While making a career decision is often a difficult task, it was expected that given their parents' lack of experience with college, first-generation college students would likely experience more barriers in career thinking than other students. In addition, the role of family cohesion was examined. Participants from the study consisted of 105 undergraduate students attending a large public university in the southeast region of the United States. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was utilized to analyze the data. The hypothesis that first-generation students would account for a significant amount of variance in career thoughts was strongly supported. First-generation status accounted for 60% (59.7%) of variance related to negative career thoughts, which was measured by the Career Thoughts Inventory (CTI). The hypothesis that after accounting for variance related to first-generation status, significant additional variance would be accounted for by family cohesion was also supported. Family cohesion accounted for an additional (1.6%) of variance, which was measured by the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation scale. Limitations, clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.