Perceived Social Support and Well Being: First-Year Student Experience in University

  •  Mohd Awang    
  •  Faridah Kutty    
  •  Abdul Ahmad    


The current study explored first-year student experience in receiving social support and its relation to their ability to adapt with university ethos. It also explored how social support on academic adjustment, social adjustment and emotional adjustment among students were significantly associated with student well-being. This qualitative research utilized individual semi-structured interview protocols to gather narrative data from 16 university students. All students were interviewed twice in order to see changes and developments in receiving social support from university community, peers and family members. Data were tape-recorded, transcribed and analyzed by using thematic approach. It was then coded by independent coders. It has been found in this study that academic adjustments, social adjustment and emotional among new students are dependent on their abilities in receiving socio-educational support from friends (supportive friendship) and families. Results also revealed the powerful influence of parents and the importance of socio-relationship for student wellbeing. This study suggests that the concept of social support should go further than simply identifying it within the context of a university. Findings of this study also indicate the importance of student community, senior students and family-networks in adapting to a new learning environment. There are cumulative evidences from this research to suggest different types of networks in a multicultural university. Students’ self-management skills are found to be vital for smoothness of transition to universities.

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