This study examined the way part-time students cope with fitting in study on top of other demands on their time. To measure the deployment of coping mechanisms, an instrument was developed based on previous qualitative work. The earlier work had identified three coping mechanisms-sacrifice, support, and negotiation of arrangements-operating in four domains of the self-work, family, and social lives. A measure for the sense of belonging to college was also developed. The combined measures were completed by a sample of 208 adult students enrolled in part-time courses in an open university. Analysis by structural equation modelling showed that there were significant relationships between the employment of coping mechanisms and the development of a sense of belonging to the college. Students were more likely to exhibit a strong sense of belonging if: they had negotiated with their family a time to study: they had established regular study routines; they reported high levels of social support; and they declared themselves high in personal self-determination. In addition, high levels of sacrifice were reported, most notably within the domain of the self.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology