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Compared to not being a part of any groups, and, being a first-generation student will negatively affect belonging and state of self-esteem compared to non-first-generation students. Results show no significance between ethnicity and ones’ sense of belonging, nor, was there a significance between ethnicity and state of self-esteem. Generation status and sense of belonging as well as, self-esteem resulted in no significance. But, there was a significant interaction found between news headlines and housing on self-esteem. Such that, those who read positive news headlines and live on campus housing experienced a higher state of self-esteem compared to those who read positive news headlines and live off-campus and, those who read negative news headlines and live on campus housing experienced a lower state of self-esteem compared to those who read negative news headlines and live off campus.
A possible reason as to why the hypotheses in this research study was null may be due to a small sample size, where there was not enough evidence to prove the hypotheses.
With that, future research is necessary to explore the difficulty of college affecting students differently across all backgrounds, specifically how belonging can vary depending on generational status as well as, how self-esteem can vary based on generation status. However, research has yet to investigate why it has been found that self-esteem “among continuing generation students to be slightly higher than among first-generation students, the effect size was quite small (Aspelmeier, McGill, Elliott, & Pierce, 2012). A bigger sample size is needed to be able to validate the results externally and then, implement knowledge for the research field.
To reiterate, the more knowledge that is gained via research about first-generation students and their sense of belonging as well as, their state of self-esteem the more useful the results would be. With that, those results are essential and may be helpful for first-generation college student, transfer students, university administration and university faculty, the reason for that may be, to find better accommodations and assist more efficiently with student’s transition entering a four-year institution.
The limitations for this research study are:
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