Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-6-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Harriet Cobb


The current study explores the factors that may contribute to undergraduate male attrition and ways of improving retention at James Madison University (JMU) using qualitative case study methodology. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five men who were currently enrolled at JMU, six men who had previously been enrolled at JMU but who had left before completing a degree, and two university administrators who work closely with students at risk of dropping out. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. They were analyzed using QSR’s N-Vivo 9, a qualitative data management software package. Themes and sub-themes emerged around two major categories: factors that contribute to undergraduate male attrition and factors that may encourage male retention. Major themes around factors contributing to attrition included incomplete cognitive maturity, financial difficulties, lack of motivation, and JMU-specific factors. Sub-themes around factors that encourage retention included mentorship programs, exploration classes, alcohol-management programs, and off-campus supervision.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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