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The Role of Internal Resources in Academic Achievement: Exploring the Meaning of Self-Compassion in teh Adaptive Functioning of Low-Income College Students

Conway, Deborah Grice (2007) The Role of Internal Resources in Academic Achievement: Exploring the Meaning of Self-Compassion in teh Adaptive Functioning of Low-Income College Students. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Although there are many statistics on low-income students, most focus on deficits. This study is designed to concentrate on strengths, by exploring the role of self-compassion in the academic achievement of low-income community college students. This research, based broadly on resiliency theory, specifically encompasses the Buddhist psychology perspective on the meaning of suffering and self-reflection, in explaining how self-compassion may develop over a period of difficulty, and contributes positively to academic success. Further, this framework is placed within the context of Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory, to differentiate the influence of internal versus external resources, as well as to highlight the role of the chronosystem and its relevance to persistent poverty. Participants were 410 low-income community college students in southwestern Pennsylvania who responded to multiple objective measures to gain insight into academic success despite adversity. An exploratory factor analysis on the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) was completed with regard to the use of this measure with a low-income population, as well as correlational studies, and a series of multiple regression analyses, to predict academic achievement in low-income community college students. Findings indicate that older students, African American students, students who are parents, and students who have fewer social supports reported more self-compassion. Further, self-compassion acted as a moderating mediator between income and academic success in students who report a pattern of persistent poverty. This subset of students reported more self-compassion and greater academic success in college.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Conway, Deborah
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairShivers, Eva Marieeshivers@pitt.eduESHIVERS
Committee MemberGreco, Carolgrecocm@upmc.eduGRECO
Committee MemberBachman, Heatherbachman@pitt.eduBACHMAN
Committee MemberPizzolato, Janepizzolat@pitt.eduPIZZOLAT
Date: 27 June 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 22 March 2007
Approval Date: 27 June 2007
Submission Date: 3 April 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Psychology in Education
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: common humanity; intrinsic motivation; mindfulness; resilience
Other ID:, etd-04032007-102001
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:33
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:35


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