Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Adult Education and Human Resource Development

First Advisor's Name

Thomas Reio, Jr.

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Benjamin Baez

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Elizabeth Cramer

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Joanne Sanders-Reio

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair


traumatic brain injury, emerging adult, persistence, gender, postsecondary.

Date of Defense



This longitudinal study sought to investigate the demographic and socio-psychological factors associated with predicting persistence in postsecondary education among emerging adults with traumatic brain injury. The predicting variables in this study were: (a) gender (sex), (b) socioeconomic status (SES), (c) employment, (d) years of education; (e) age at onset of injury, (f) existence of familial capital/parental involvement, and (g) hours spent studying for a class.

Data were obtained from a secondary dataset collected by the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems National Data and Statistical Center longitudinal database. There were 2436 participants with TBI in the study. Ages ranged from 16 to 29 at injury, with a median age of 22. Males (75%, n = 1,825) outnumbered females (25.0%, n = 608) in the sample by a factor of three to one.

Logistic regression analysis revealed that while there was not a significant relationship among gender and persistence among the emerging adults with TBI, there were significant negative relationships between socioeconomic status, age, and years of education at time of injury, hours worked, and persistence. In contrast, years of education at follow-up, time spent studying, and familial support were positively associated with persistence.

Additional research is needed to develop more refined measures of familial and social support to tease out these findings with samples beyond the U.S. Future research should also include self-regulation strategy measures to gain further indepth understanding of how studying is linked to persistence. Finally, hours working while attending school and time spent studying could be examined in conjunction with moderator variables to acquire new theoretical and empirical insights into persistence among emerging adults with TBI. Building upon the results, academic advisors and administrators could target hours worked, time spent studying and social integration as leverage points to improve the likelihood of persistence with the understudied group.






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