Document Type

Journal Article




Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Psychology and Social Science / Lifespan Resilience Research Group




Dawson, M. L., & Pooley, J. (2013). Resilience: The role of optimism, perceived parental autonomy support and perceived social support in first year university students. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 1(2), 38-49. Available here


Throughout our lifespan we face many challenges which are often referred to as transitions. The move to university is one such transition which may place individuals at risk of suffering ongoing significant life stress, anxiety and uncertainty. Optimism, promotion of independent functioning (PIF), promotion of volitional functioning (PVF) and perceived social support (PSS) appear to be beneficial in coping with university transition and positive adaptation to adversity as well as being associated both directly and indirectly with resilience. This study was conducted in two stages which examined the mechanisms of optimism, PIF, PVF and PSS and their predictive relationship with resilience in first year university students during two semesters. The results indicated that students with higher levels of optimism, PIF, PVF and PSS experienced higher levels of resilience. In Stage One (N = 95), the multiple regression analysis (MRA) indicated optimism (ps <.01), PIF (ps <.05) and PVF (ps <.05) independently and significantly predicted resilience. In Stage Two (N= 103) the MRA indicated that only optimism and PSS uniquely predicted resilience (ps < .01). This study contributed to the limited research conducted in Australia concerning the resilience of first year university students.



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