Initiating Personal Growth: The Role of Recognition and Life Satisfaction on the Development of College Students

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The purpose of this study was to examine the mediating role of life satisfaction between positive recognition and levels of personal growth initiative in a collegiate setting. The design of the research study utilized a quantitative research method. A brief questionnaire assessed 204 undergraduate students at a mid-sized university. The average age of the participants was 19 years old and the predominant race was Caucasian. Approximately the same number of male and female participants completed the survey. Each participant answered questions that measured perceived life satisfaction, personal growth initiative and the amount of recognition and praise received from family and overall within a typical college setting. Structural Equation Modeling was used to examine the relationship between the variables. The hypothesized mediational model had adequate fit. Positive recognition and personal growth initiative were mediated by life satisfaction χ2 (n = 204, 101) = 259.20, CFI = .88, TLI = .86. Results from this study hope to show that life satisfaction builds the relationship between receiving recognition and an undergraduate's involvement in changing and developing as an individual. In addition, the study hopes to use the emerging field of Positive Psychology to identify applications of life satisfaction, personal growth initiative and recognition to assist with the optimal functioning of college students and the overall educational institution.

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