“We Belong Here”: Identities, Family, Sense of Belonging, and Persistence in Latinx First-Generation College Students’ Educational Journeys

Takimoto et al. / Adversity and Resilience Science / October 2021

Latino College Access

Schools often perceive Latinx youth as disengaged and even dangerous. However, they and their parents often have high educational aspirations and view college as the pathway to economic mobility. This mixed-methods cross-sectional study investigated the roles of sense of belonging at the university, ethnic-racial identity (ERI), perceptions of ERI discrimination, and family emotional support in first-generation (FG) college students’ academic self-efficacy and well-being, as indexed by depressive symptomatology. Multiple regression analyses showed that only sense of belonging at the university and the belonging subscale of ERI significantly predicted academic self-efficacy and depression symptomatology. However, the qualitative analyses revealed the importance of siblings for Latinx FG college students’ academic self-efficacy, mental health, and future career and life goals.