College students’ social goals and psychological adjustment: mediation via emotion regulation

Shim, S. S., Wang, C., Makara, K. , Xu, X.-G., Xie, L.-N. and Zhong, M. (2017) College students’ social goals and psychological adjustment: mediation via emotion regulation. Journal of College Student Development, 58(8), pp. 1237-1255.

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University life can be stressful and students may struggle to adjust socially. We examined students’ social achievement goals—their orientations towards their relationships with their peers—as one important factor underlying students’ social and psychological adjustment in college. When investigating the direct and indirect effects of social achievement goals on psychological adjustment (i.e., life satisfaction, depression, stress, and worry), the mediating role of emotion regulation was examined. Data were collected from students attending a university in China (N = 1,242, 35% male). The widely adopted three-factor structure of social achievement goals (i.e., social development goals, social demonstration-approach goals, social demonstration-avoidance goals) was confirmed to fit the data among Chinese college students. The results show the direct and indirect benefits of endorsing a social development goal. Augmented emotion regulation mediated the effect of social development goals. The total effects of a social demonstration-approach goal were weak, but the goal indirectly impaired students’ psychological adjustment via reduced emotion regulation. Endorsing a social demonstration-avoidance goal tended to compromise psychological adjustment and the effects were mediated through reduced emotion regulation. Implications for supporting students’ adjustment to college are discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Makara Fuller, Dr Kara
Authors: Shim, S. S., Wang, C., Makara, K., Xu, X.-G., Xie, L.-N., and Zhong, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Pedagogy Policy and Practice
Journal Name:Journal of College Student Development
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press
ISSN (Online):1543-3382
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Johns Hopkins University Press
First Published:First published in Journal of College Student Development 58(8): 1237-1255
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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