Date of Award

Summer 8-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

J. Brandon Waits


The transition from high school to college is challenging for many students. Studies have shown that students from low Socioeconomic Status (SES) backgrounds tend to experience more difficulty adjusting to college. Besides financial difficulty, students from low-SES backgrounds also tend to have fewer psychological resources to handle the adjustment. However, few studies looked into psychological factors’ role in the relationship between SES and college adjustment. The present study sought to explore the potential mediation role of psychological capital (PsyCap) in the SES-college adjustment relationship. Another goal was to explore four PsyCap components’(i.e., self-efficacy, hope, optimism, and resilience) potential mediation roles in the SES-college adjustment relationship. A sample of 214 participants was recruited from undergraduate courses and asked to complete an online survey. The current study did not found PsyCap, optimism, and resilience mediate the SES-college adjustment relationship. But found self-efficacy and hope mediate the SES-college adjustment relationship. These findings supported the idea that PsyCap plays an important role in students’ college adjustment process. Further research and practical implications were discussed.