Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2023

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management

First Advisor

Hannah K Allen

Second Advisor

Allison Ford-Wade

Third Advisor

Ashleen Williams

Relational Format



First-generation college students (FGCS) are a distinct sub-population within higher education. In comparison to their peers, FGCS report increased levels of anxiety, depression, and stress along with lower levels of social support and academic attainment. Considering the unique context and history of the University of Mississippi (UM), it is crucial to understand the specific needs of FGCS enrolled at UM. The aims of this study were to: 1) assess the associations between FGCS status and mental health and academic achievement, and 2) determine whether sense of belonging moderates these associations.

First-generation college students had higher mean levels of depression symptoms than their peers, and this association was approaching statistical significance. The University of Mississippi should continue to support the unique needs of first-generation students, particularly in the areas of depression and mental health and wellness. The University Counseling Center and the William Magee Center should provide ongoing resources and programming tailored to first-generation college students, and continued research is needed.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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