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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

WashU: Social-Belonging Interventions with First-Year Students Could Improve College Performance and Retention

A pilot study suggests that discussing social belonging with students early in their first year of college could improve their grades and completion of college, according to researchers at the Washington University in St. Louis – Brown School Public Health Programs.

[Photo: Dr. David A. Patterson Silver Wolf]

The study of 128 first-year community college students, most of whom were African-American, examined the effects of a social-belonging video and discussion during the first semester. Those students who saw the video had higher grade point averages than students who were not given the intervention.

“Decades of research have proven the wide ranging health benefits of obtaining a college degree,” said first author Dr. David A. Patterson Silver Wolf, associate professor at the Brown School.

“An intervention that increases the likelihood of students remaining in college until degree attainment, especially students from underrepresented and underserved communities, is a worthy effort in solving our lingering health and public health concerns.”

The study was published in the July issue of the Journal of College Student Development.

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