Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Mark Pancer

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The transition from high-school to university can be a difficult time in the lives of students. The present study examined the effectiveness of an intensive, small-group, long-term orientation to university PTOBTBIR One hundred and eleven first-year students were assigned to either an intervention-discussion group, or a questionnaire-only control group. ln August, before coming to university, all participants completed measures including social support, self-esteem, perceived stress, depression and questions assessing demographic information. Those in the discussion group were assigned to one of six groups, which met regularly for 9 weeks for 90-minute sessions. During the meetings, topics focused on creating and maintaining social ties. ln November, during the seventh week of meetings, a post-intervention questionnaire was completed containing all the pre-intervention measures mentioned and including an adjustment to university scale. A follow-up questionnaire was completed in March, including all the above mentioned measures. The results indicate that the control group had higher mean scores on the SACQ academic adjustment sub-scale in November when compared to the discussion group; however, by March, the discussion group participants had higher mean scores on the SACQ academic adjustment sub-scale than did the control group participants. Finally, the intervention may have had more of an effect on female participants, as females in the intervention program did not differ from those in the control group in August or November, but showed significantly lower levels of depression in March. Males in the intervention group did not show any improvement over time, relative to the control group males. Therefore, the results show promise to the benefits of a social support intervention in easing the transition to university.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Psychology Commons