An examination of the role that self-appraisal, support Appraisal and family appraisal play in coping with Adjustment to university
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In this study the role played by self-appraisal, support appraisal and family appraisal in coping with adjustment to university was examined. The transition from high school to university is a change that many students experience with considerable difficulty. They are expected to adjust to the academic, social, personal and institutional demands of the university environment. In South Africa many historically disadvantaged students are pursuing a tertiary education and are expected to perform academically not only to secure a continued place at a tertiary institution but also to secure themselves a place in the competitive job market post university. While students do experience stress as a result of the demands of university life, they are able to cope and adjust due to either having a positive appraisal of themselves or the support they receive from family and others. Two hundred and seven first-year students, drawn from two faculties at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) completed the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ) (Baker & Siryk, 1989). This questionnaire assessed student's self-reported appraisal of the effectiveness with which he or she was adapting to university. The Fortitude Questionnaire (FORQ) (Pretorius, 1998) was utilised to assess the student's appraisal of themselves, support from the family and support received from others. A questionnaire eliciting demographic information was also completed by students. Results of the study indicated that a positive self-appraisal was a significant predictor of adjustment to university across all dimensions namely; academic, social, personalemotional and institutional attachment. Additionally, positive support appraisal was a predictor of social adjustment to university.