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The study examined whether relationships with extended kin were related to higher levels of mental health and academic functioning among college students. Specifically, the study tested whether perceived emotional support from extended (non-nuclear) family was related to self-esteem, psychological distress, and academic efficacy and dedication above and beyond relationships with one’s primary caregivers, and whether these associations varied by class year in college. The sample consisted of 530 students (average age = 20.82), at a public, four-year university. The results revealed that freshmen and seniors who reported high levels of positive relationships with their extended kin also reported higher levels of academic-efficacy and dedication, as well as lower levels of psychological distress. However, the relation between kin emotional support and these outcomes were not significant for sophomores and juniors. There was also a significant association between kinship support and self-esteem for participants in all four class levels. The study underscores the need to examine extended social support systems among college students, above and beyond those maintained with primary caregivers, as well as the dynamic nature of family support during young adulthood.
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- Kinship Support and Academic Efficacy Among College Students: A Cross-Sectional Examination
Lisa R. Silverman
- Springer US