2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference

Social Science

Exploring the Structure of Liberal Arts Acculturation and its Prediction of College Students' Well-Being
Andrew D. Skelton*, Chinaka I. Agwu, Ben R. Greenberg, Sarah J. Kertz, Mitchell A. Meltzer, Amy M. Wessel, and Cynthia L. Wooldridge
Dr. Jeffrey Vittengl, Faculty Mentor

Definitions and benefits of liberal arts education are points of debate. In our project, we empirically clarified the structure of liberal arts acculturation (attitudes and behaviors). We also tested the connections of liberal arts acculturation to college students’ well-being. Undergraduates (N = 208) completed measures of 13 potential facets of liberal arts acculturation (e.g., interdisciplinary thinking, communication skills, altruism) and 9 facets of well-being (e.g., satisfaction with life, [low] depression, [no] alcohol abuse). Exploratory factor analysis suggested that liberal arts acculturation consists of three broad dimensions, tentatively labeled “intellectualism,” “productivity,” and “caring for others.” Intellectualism was minimally related, caring for others was inconsistently related, and productivity was more robustly related to multiple measures of well-being. These results support our hypothesis that higher liberal arts acculturation predicts greater well-being among college students.

Keywords: liberal arts, acculturation, well-being, intellectualism, productivity, caring for others, college students, behaviors

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 60-72
Location: OP Lobby and Atrium
Time: 4:15

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