Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University

Advisor

Davis, James E.

Committee Member

Porter, Julia Y.

Committee Member

Stonecypher, Wayne

Committee Member

Wiseman, William M.

Date of Degree

5-11-2012

Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only

Major

Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

College

College of Education

Department

Department of Leadership and Foundations

Abstract

Rapidly changing trends in society have contributed to increasing enrollments in community colleges. Increased enrollment has resulted in an emphasis on the effectiveness of community colleges. Despite limited funding, community colleges are challenged to provide educational access and equity to meet developmental needs of diverse student populations who have many different objectives, concerns, social interests, academic skills, and life experiences. This quantitative causal-comparative study assessed holistic wellness characteristics of traditional and non-traditional students attending selected rural community colleges in a state in the southeastern region of the United States. This study examined differences between mean scores assessing holistic wellness in traditional and non-traditional student populations based on the Five Factor Wellness Adult Inventory (5F-Wel-A). A total of 307 community college students participated in the study. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 54 with a mean age of 25. Demographic data collected from students included age, gender, cultural background, marital status, employment status, and educational status. Total Wellness results found no statistical significance between mean scores for traditional and non-traditional students, gender of traditional and non-traditional students, or cultural backgrounds of traditional and non-traditional students. No statistical significance was found between mean scores for traditional and non-traditional student populations in the dependent variable sub-groups of Creative Self, Coping Self, Social Self, Essential Self, and Physical Self. Based on gender, statistically significant differences were found in mean scores of three dependent variable sub-groups, including Social Self, Essential Self, and Creative Self among female students with females having higher levels of wellness in those sub-groups than male students. Statistically significant differences between mean scores in the Physical Self sub-group were found for male students with males having higher levels of wellness in that sub-group than female students; however, no statistically significant differences in mean scores were found for the Coping Self sub-group based on gender of traditional and non-traditional students. Based on cultural background, significant statistical differences in mean scores were found in the Essential Self sub-group among African American students, with African American students reporting higher levels of wellness than Caucasian students.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/18396

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