Graduation Date

Summer 2022

Document Type



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

Committee Chair Name

Brandilynn Villarreal

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Amber Gaffney

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Maria Iturbide

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



The experiences of university students impacted by COVID-19 and circumstances surrounding their experiences, help inform the future of higher education in the United States. In the uncertain and rapidly evolving higher education system, understanding retention patterns of students has become increasingly complex. This study examined how self-perceived prosociality and self-perceived social isolation among university students in an online education environment relate to the intention to re-enroll in university and their academic achievement (Grade Point Average; GPA). Ninety-seven university and community college students completed an online survey. Based on previous literature, we expected women to report higher prosociality perceptions than men (e.g., Mavroveli & Sánchez-Ruiz, 2011; Ruckmani & Balachandra, 2015). We also expected online engagement to mediate the relationships between prosociality perceptions and GPA and retention intention, and between social isolation and GPA and retention intention, respectively. Except for the gender differences hypothesis, all other study hypotheses were not supported. Areas for future research include additional changes in higher education and student stressors. This study adds to the literature bridging educational and psychological research and highlights areas of potential growth for college students’ academic performance.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location