2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference

Social Science

Prediction of Undergraduates' Embracement of the Liberal Arts from Parental Achievement and Career Expectations
Mitchell A. Meltzer*, Chinaka I. Agwu, Ben R. Greenberg, Sarah J. Kertz, Andrew D. Skelton, Amy M. Wessel, and Cynthia L. Wooldridge
Dr. Jeffrey Vittengl, Faculty Mentor

The purpose of this study was to examine the relations between liberal arts acculturation (attitudes and behaviors) and college students’ socioeconomic status and ambition. Undergraduates (N = 208) completed measures of potential facets of liberal arts acculturation (e.g., creativity, low vocationalism, valuing diversity), reported their parents’ level of education and income, and forecasted their own educational attainment and income at age 40. Factor analysis suggested that liberal arts acculturation consists of three broad dimensions tentatively labeled “intellectualism,” “productivity,” and “caring for others.” In partial support of the hypotheses, students’ forecasted income and educational attainment correlated with higher productivity, and students’ forecasted education attainment related to higher intellectualism. Parental income and education, however, were not significantly related to any of the dimensions of liberal arts acculturation. These results suggest that students’ liberal arts acculturation is not a product of higher socioeconomic status but is possibly a contributor to students’ ambition.

Keywords: Liberal Arts, Socioeconomic Status, Well Being

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 60-73
Location: OP Lobby and Atrium
Time: 4:15

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