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Measurable differences in achievement outcomes have been documented in first-generation and non-first-generation college students. Among variables that influence differences in academic outcomes, students’ academic beliefs have been shown to affect both behaviors and performance. However, efforts that have examined potential differences in academic beliefs between first generation and non-first-generation students are limited. In this study we examined potential differences in academic beliefs between first-generation and non-first-generation college students. Specifically, we examined these beliefs: intellectual humility (Porter & Schumann, 2018); theories of intelligence (Dweck, 2000); academic self-concept (Marsh & O’Neill, 1984); learned helplessness (Sorrenti et al., 2015), and task value (Pintrich et al., 1991). Data was collected from 316 undergraduate students from a southern university as part of a research participation requirement for coursework. The sample included 130 males and 186 females, 60 of which identified as first-generation college students (256 non-first-generation students). Academic beliefs were measured using seven validated Likert-like scales. Five t-tests were conducted to assess differences in academic beliefs. One significant (task value) and four nonsignificant differences were found between the academic achievement beliefs of first-generation and non-first-generation students. Results suggest that first-generation college students' academic beliefs are more similar than dissimilar to non-first-generational students. This is a positive finding as individuals cannot control whether they are a first generation or a non-first-generation student. Follow-up studies are needed to further examine potential differences in academic beliefs between first-generation and non-first-generation students as these beliefs are related to achievement behaviors and performance (Schunk et al., 2014).


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
16.6 MB



  • Subject
    • Psychological Science

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Poster Session

  • Event date
    • 26 March 2021

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. David Chirinos