Graduation Date

Spring 2021

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Psychology, option Academic Research

Committee Chair Name

Brandilynn Villarreal, Ph.D.

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Maria Iturbide, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Kauyumari Sanchez, Ph.D.

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



The gap between college student enrollment and graduation rates remains a problem for college students and administrators. Literature on persistence in college suggests that factors such as hardiness and autonomy support may contribute to student perseverance through degree attainment. The current study focused on these constructs using a framework based on self-determination theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 1985). Factors related to student persistence, namely hardiness and autonomy support, were expected to positively predict college student engagement. Furthermore, hardiness was expected to moderate the relationship between autonomy support and college student engagement. College students from a university and a community college (N = 184) participated in a survey on their perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and experiences related to the college environment. Hypotheses were tested using a hierarchical multiple regression model. Both autonomy support and hardiness positively predicted college student engagement, but the interaction effect of hardiness was nonsignificant. These results inform the literature on SDT, the validity of hardiness, and are applicable to programs and interventions aimed at improving college students’ persistence in academic goal pursuit.

Citation Style

APA 7th Ed.


Thesis/Project Location