This paper addresses an underexplored topic of research in higher education, and of research on the transition of students. It explores the transition to university as a critical stage in young adults‘ life, and specifically investigates freshmens‘ trust as a crucial resource for coping. It aims at contributing to assess the role of trust, among others, for satisfaction, self-efficacy, and coping.
To that end, the paper investigates how trust is affecting students' perception of the unfamiliar situation when encountering university. In doing so and according to findings as those of White 2014, their different academic backgrounds are considered. In particular, it will be discussed how general trust (as a stable resource built up before entering university) determines the propensity to trust as well as trust experiences after the transition to university. Furthermore, the paper reveals different types of trusting students.
To tackle these issues, we built an innovative theoretical framework combining two perspectives in trust research, namely the so-called differential theory of trust (Schweer/Thies 2008) and the relational theory of trust (Frederiksen 2014). We will explain our heuristic model on what we call ‘habitual trust’ and how it is used in our research design.
Bormann, I. & Thies, B. (submitted). Vertrauen als Ressource in der Studieneingangsphase. Eine explorative Mixed-Methods Studie. In J.-M. Lorenzen, L.-M. Schmidt, & D. Zifonun (Hrsg.), Methoden und Methodologien der Bildungsforschung. Quantitative und qualitative Verfahren und ihre Verbindungen. Weinheim: Beltz Juventa. Frederiksen, M. (2014). Relational trust: Outline of a Bourdieusian theory of interpersonal trust. Journal of Trust Research, 4 (2), 167-192. Schweer, M. & Thies, B. (2008). Vertrauen. In A. E. Auhagen (Hrsg.), Positive Psychologie (S. 136-149). Weinheim: Beltz PVU (überarb. Neuauflage). White, C. (2014). Using principles of trust to engage support with students from low socioeconomic backgrounds: A Practice Report. The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education 5 (2), 81-87.
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