An exploration of family achievement guilt among Canadian university students

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Sanghera, Harleen
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
As an understudied topic with no peer-reviewed Canadian literature, family achievement guilt is the socioemotional experience related to having educational opportunities not afforded to one’s family members. In this study, 852 university students completed an online questionnaire that measured students’ family achievement guilt, maladaptive outcomes, empathic concern, and cultural congruence. First-generation students and racialized students were found to have higher levels of family achievement guilt compared to continuing-generation students and White students, respectively. Correlation analysis showed that family achievement guilt had a positive association with depression, anxiety, stress, and empathic concern. Moreover, a negative correlation was found between family achievement guilt and cultural congruence. Using thematic analysis, seven themes were created to capture the qualitative data from the short answer question. Overall, the emerging area of family achievement guilt research calls for the attention of researchers, post-secondary institutions, and mental health professionals to better support a diverse student body.
Family achievement guilt , Cultural congruence , First-generation students , Racialized students , Canadian university students