Relationship between the employment of coping mechanisms and a sense of belonging for part‐time students
Kember, D and Leung, DYP, Relationship between the employment of coping mechanisms and a sense of belonging for part‐time students, Educational Psychology, 24, (3) pp. 345-357. ISSN 0144-3410 (2004) [Refereed Article]
This study examined the way part-time students cope with fitting in study on top of other
demands on their time. To measure the deployment of coping mechanisms, an instrument
was developed based on previous qualitative work. The earlier work had identified three
coping mechanisms—sacrifice, support, and negotiation of arrangements—operating in four
domains of the self—work, family, and social lives. A measure for the sense of belonging to
college was also developed. The combined measures were completed by a sample of 208
adult students enrolled in part-time courses in an open university. Analysis by structural
equation modelling showed that there were significant relationships between the employment of coping mechanisms and the development of a sense of belonging to the college.
Students were more likely to exhibit a strong sense of belonging if: they had negotiated with
their family a time to study: they had established regular study routines; they reported high
levels of social support; and they declared themselves high in personal self-determination.
In addition, high levels of sacrifice were reported, most notably within the domain of the