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Research in Higher Education

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 75–100 | Cite as

Examining the Effects of Stress and Campus Climate on the Persistence of Students of Color and White Students: An Application of Bean and Eaton’s Psychological Model of Retention

  • Dawn R. Johnson
  • Timothy H. Wasserman
  • Nilay Yildirim
  • Barbara A. Yonai
Article

Abstract

The current study examined the effects of stress and campus climate perceptions on the persistence decisions of students of color and White students using Bean and Eaton’s (2000) Psychological Model of College Student Retention. A sample of first-year students (N = 1,491) at a predominantly White research university were survey enduring their second semester and their enrollment status was subsequently tracked after 2 years. Path analysis was conducted on the sample of students of color (n = 548) and White students (n = 943). Results indicated models that explained 27 % of the variance for students of color and 44 % of the variance for White students in persistence after 2 years of college. Among the initial 37 variables included in the models, 17 had significant direct and indirect effects on students’ of color persistence including observing racism on campus, having comfortable academic interactions, stress related to the academic environment, and feelings about the campus environment. For White students, 13 variables had significant direct and indirect effects on persistence, including having opportunities for diverse peer interactions and comfortable academic interactions, stress related to the social environment on campus, and feelings about the campus environment. The discussion highlights the usefulness of the Bean and Eaton model for examining retention for students of color and White students.

Keywords

Students of color Persistence Retention models Stressors Campus racial climate Academic environment Campus environment 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dawn R. Johnson
    • 1
  • Timothy H. Wasserman
    • 2
  • Nilay Yildirim
    • 2
  • Barbara A. Yonai
    • 2
  1. 1.Higher Education DepartmentSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Office of Institutional Research and AssessmentSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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