Exploring Ethnic Minority First-Year College Students’ Well-Being and Sense of Belonging: A Qualitative Investigation of a Brief Intervention

Terrell L. Strayhorn 1 *

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp. 42-58

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Sense of belonging is associated with students’ social adjustment and academic success, especially during the first-year of college. In this study, ethnic minority first-year college students were exposed to a brief belonging video intervention designed to alter self-beliefs, antisocial behaviors and personally threatening interpretations of academic-related adversities. Using an innovative qualitative approach, the researcher assessed college students’ perceptions of the intervention on their health, well-being, and sense of belonging in the first year. Findings reveal that the video intervention helped first-year college students of color at PWIs reframe negative academic, financial, and social experiences while facilitating supportive networks, community, and belonging. Implications for research, policy, and practice are delineated.

Keywords: qualitative research, sense of belonging, college students, intervention.