Kimia Poosti


The college student population continues to grow diverse in many ways, including the evolving cohorts of first-generation college students (FGCS). These students, whose student generational status is defined by having parents who have not enrolled in post-secondary education, enter college with a different background than their peers who have parents familiar with the college experience. This difference accounts for some challenges regularly faced by FGCS, including sensed tension within their family system and overall distress as they transition from their home-oriented to school-oriented roles. This student population lacks resources that aid understanding and management of new challenges within the family and coping with family-related stress. This dissertation project builds on empirical, theoretical, and applied literature about FGCS and their family, literature about the psychoeducational support group format, and original content to offer college mental health clinicians to facilitate a psychoeducational support group for FGCS on their campus. The recommendations outlined in the group handbook included in this dissertation provide college counseling center group facilitators a guide for helping familiarize FGCS members with changes that might occur in their family during the transition to college. This includes guidance on how to manage family-related stress that might arise, including preparation on how to convey expected role transitions to family members and negotiate changing roles. Additional considerations for using recommendations, project limitations, and directions for future research are also addressed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; First-generation college students -- Psychology; Students with social disabilities -- Education (Higher) -- Services for

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Woo, Stephanie;