Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychological Science (MSPS)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth R. Brown

Second Advisor

Dr. Francis Daniel Richard


Although first-generation college students (FGCS) are enrolling in graduate school at the same rate as continuing-generation students (CGCS), they are earning their degrees significantly slower or not at all. We add to the growing literature by examining whether the independent culture encouraged at many American universities clashes with the interdependent culture of FGCS. We hypothesized that when participants are randomly assigned to read an independently focused brochure, FGCS compared with CGCS will report a lower tendency to seek college resources, self-efficacy, and persistence. FGCS and CGCS read an independent or interdependent focused ecopsychology graduate program brochure and indicated their self-efficacy for eco-psychology, persistence in continuing the program, and utilization of resources on their college campus. No significant interactions emerged between generational status and brochure type for any of the dependent measures; instead, interest in ecopsychology was a robust predictor of pursuing ecopsychology, student's expectations for attending an eco-psychology program, students’ academic self-efficacy, and students’ academic fit with ecopsychology. The post hoc analysis revealed a significant interaction effect between student generational status and brochure type on interest in ecology, recycling, and environmental issues, such that CGCS who read the interdependent brochure versus the independent brochure expressed more interest in ecology, recycling, and the environment. Additional analyses found that a significant interaction emerged between generational status and brochure type for interest in ecology, recycling, and the environment. Implications of cultural mismatch and variability in the FGCS population are discussed.