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      Managing the Transition: The Role of Optimism and Self-Efficacy for First-Year Australian University Students

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          Abstract

          Students making the transition from high school to university often encounter many stressors and new experiences. Many students adjust successfully to university; however, some students do not, often resulting in attrition from the university and mental health issues. The primary aim of the current study was to examine the effects that optimism, self-efficacy, depression, and anxiety have on an individual's life stress and adaptation to university. Eighty-four first-year, full-time students from the Queensland University of Technology (60 female, 24 male) who had entered university straight from high school completed the study. Participants completed a questionnaire assessing their levels of optimism, self-efficacy, depression, anxiety, perceived level of life stress and adaptation to university. In line with predictions, results showed that optimism, depression, and anxiety each had a significant relationship with students’ perceived level of stress. Furthermore, self-efficacy and depression had a significant relationship with adaptation to university. We conclude that students with high levels of optimism and low levels of depression and anxiety will adapt better when making the transition from high school to university. In addition, students with high levels of self-efficacy and low levels of depression will experience less life stress in their commencement year of university. The implications of this study are outlined.

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          Most cited references 62

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              G*Power 3: a flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences.

              G*Power (Erdfelder, Faul, & Buchner, 1996) was designed as a general stand-alone power analysis program for statistical tests commonly used in social and behavioral research. G*Power 3 is a major extension of, and improvement over, the previous versions. It runs on widely used computer platforms (i.e., Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Mac OS X 10.4) and covers many different statistical tests of the t, F, and chi2 test families. In addition, it includes power analyses for z tests and some exact tests. G*Power 3 provides improved effect size calculators and graphic options, supports both distribution-based and design-based input modes, and offers all types of power analyses in which users might be interested. Like its predecessors, G*Power 3 is free.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                applab
                Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling
                Aust. j. guid. couns.
                Cambridge University Press (CUP)
                1037-2911
                1839-2520
                June 2014
                December 13 2013
                : 24
                : 01
                : 90-108
                10.1017/jgc.2013.29
                © 2013

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