Work School Conflict, Ability Beliefs, and Interest Value in Relation to Grade Point Average for First-Generation Students
First-generation students have consistently lower levels of graduation rates than other generations. This issue is important because there are ~10,000 first-generation students in the population of the University of Texas at San Antonio. First-generation students have been shown to be employed more hours than other generations (Pascarella et al., 2004) and have lower levels of self-efficacy (Ramos-Sánchez & Nichols, 2007). Understanding how first-generation students’ academic motivation interacts with their work school conflict in relation to grade point average can offer insight into factors that precipitate lower graduation rates. A cross-sectional study at the University of Texas at San Antonio examining employment and motivation measures was conducted. Correlation analyses and multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine how different motivation variables relate to GPA for first-generation students. Results showed that first-generation students had higher levels of work school conflict but there was not a relation to lower levels of GPA or a difference of interest value for first-generation students. Additionally, it was found that ability beliefs were significantly lower for first-generation students than other generations, which related to lower GPA. These results are crucial because they can help universities create intervention programs for first-generation students to increase their ability beliefs and increase levels of GPA. Secondly, results contribute to a greater understanding of the work school conflict construct in relation to motivational factors.