Here’s How New Friends, Other Factors Hurt
According to new research out of West Virginia University, joining a club that sparks a new interest, playing a new intramural sport or finding a new group of friends can be as self-reliant as a college freshman’s drinking or drug use. – May indicate loss of control.
Self-control, the ability to exercise personal restraint, restrain impulsivity, and make objective decisions in that first year partly depend on a student’s willingness to try new things, including things adults would call “good” .
According to Kristin Moillainen, associate professor of child development and family studies, this is a new finding. The study, “Predictors of Changes in Early Status and Self-Control During College Transition,” looked at 569 first-year students aged 18-19 at five points during the academic year. Participants completed the first wave of the study two weeks before arriving on campus and four more during the year.
The study found that propensity to try new things is one of two indicators – the other being maternal attachment – that can predict how students will benefit from the intervention.
“It suggests that one of the points of college is to go out and try new things,” she said. “There may be some value in figuring out who needs training or training in deciding that they need to slow down and think.”
He noted that students who had little interest in trying new things maintained steady control throughout the year.
The self-control instinct of a first year student also depends on the attachment of the students to their parents, especially their mothers.
“They are liable,” she continued. “They get along, their relationship is predictable and they know what their parents are going to do, how they’re going to react. They don’t hide their mistakes from their parents. “
Conversely, students who were separated from their parents were more likely to run into more dangerous behavioral waters.
Moilanen said that stems from parents who were unavailable or inconsistent, causing their children to push other people away and to dismiss the importance of parental attachment.
“Their self-control is destroyed more than those who are more securely attached,” she said.
Screening for insecure attachment and personality dimensions may be valuable for identifying first-year college students who may benefit from discrete targeted early interventions, particularly those not attached to their mothers; According to the study, students can benefit from connecting with peers and building a support system.
A third factor, stress, is likely to be responsible for college freshmen’s loss of self-control, although this was not considered in the study.
“This probably reflects fluctuations in tension over the academic year,” Moillainen said. “First year students don’t have the most accurate representations of what to expect and then they get in here and they find it’s fun, but they also find it stressful.”
Stress, even small ones, Moillainen said, can be more disruptive to self-control than people realize.
This story has been published without modification in text from a wire agency feed. Only the title has been changed.