Application of investment theory to predicting maintenance of the intent to stay among freshmen

Chloe Y H Barry, Morris A. Okun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Recently, it has been suggested that constructs from different disciplines should be incorporated into Tinto's (1993) sociological model of the determinants of departure from college (Ackerman & Schibrowsky, 2007). We tested the hypothesis that variables derived from Rusbult's (1983) social-psychological investment theory contribute, above and beyond variables derived from Tinto's model, to the prediction of maintaining the intent to stay at a university. A sample of 218 first-semester freshmen at a large southwestern university who indicated at the beginning of the fall 2007 semester that they intended to stay subsequently completed a questionnaire assessing integration variables (goal commitment, social integration, and academic integration), investment variables (satisfaction level, investment size, and quality of alternatives), and college graduation intention (stay versus transfer). A binary logistic regression analysis revealed that two variables derived from investment theory-satisfaction level and quality of alternatives-affected the log odds of students maintaining their intent to stay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-107
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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