Type of Resources

Dissertation/Thesis

Date Created

12-2020

Abstract

There exists an issue facing colleges and universities across the United States. Roughly 29% of first-year students do not return for their second year of school. Previous research has shown a significant relationship between a student’s sense of belonging or fit within the university and their decision to continue enrollment (retention). Physical activity has also been shown to have a significant relationship with a sense of belonging. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to determine if physical activity and sense of belonging predict retention of university students from their first year to their second year using a Relationships Motivation Theory framework (Ryan & Deci, 2017). Participants included in the study were 310 first-year university students (77.1% female, 22.9% male; M = 19.18 years, SD = 1.11 years). Results indicated no significant relationship between physical activity and belonging. Two logistic regression models were deployed, and results indicated ‘integration’ as a significant predictor of retention in the first model and ‘integration’, ‘connectedness to student community’, GPA and Gender as significant predictors in the second model. Results confirm prior research of belonging serving as a significant predictor of retention while providing a new framework to study university student retention.

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