A Path Analysis of the Role of First-Generation Status and Engagement in Social Interaction, Physical Activity, and Therapy in Satisfaction with Life among College Students

PsyArXiv / August 2020

NU Torch Students

First-generation college students (FGCSs) are at a greater risk of college dropout and mental illness than non-FGCSs. Less is known about their engagement in physical activity and the extent to which engagement in social interaction, physical activity, and utilization of psychotherapy is associated with depression symptomology or satisfaction with life. The purpose of this study was to assess these relationships via path analysis using a large, cross-sectional dataset (N=1,625 college students). The model fit the data (χ2=9.01[df=4], p=.06; CFI=.99, RMSEA=.03, SRMR=.01), accounted for 25% of the variance in satisfaction with life, and partially supported our hypotheses. The findings suggest that FGCSs would benefit from increased lifestyle physical activity and greater access to, and utilization of on-campus resources offering therapy and related social support programs for the management of symptoms of mental illness.