International Journal of Arts, Humanities &Social Sciences

ISSN 2994-6417 (Print) , ISSN 2994-6425 (Online)
The Role of Psychosocial Factors as Predictors of Student Success


This study examined the academic, behavioral, and socio-emotional health of 125 first-time freshmen and 86 graduating seniors at a HBCU. It compared the types of challenges that students face on entering college with the challenges experienced as they are about to graduate. The goal was to develop a predictive model of student success with intervention strategies that address the challenges associated with retention and graduation. It was predicted that substance use, mental health challenges and level of stress experienced by students will impact academic success as measured by grade point average (GPA). Also, it was hypothesized that the impact of these psychosocial factors will be different for freshmen and seniors. The results of the study indicated that academic success was negatively related to alcohol and marijuana use for a subsample of females only. High levels of depression and anxiety resulted in alcohol abuse for all participants. Stress had a negative impact on academic success with the highest impact evident among freshmen. Intrapersonal stress was a major factor in determining academic success. These results will inform educators about the role of behavioral and socio-emotional factors in the lives of students and how the relationship among these variables impact retention and graduation.