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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Margaret Hegge


nursing student social networks, nursing student attitudes, academic achievement


This research study is a secondary analysis that examined the relationship of social support to help-seeking behaviors, hardiness and academic performance in baccalaureate nursing students in a midwestern University setting. The study considered the baccalaureate nursing students in aggregate, as well as differences in these factors by gender. The original study design was descriptive correlational utilizing researcher-administered surveys. The Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire (NSSQ) was used to measure social support, the Personal Views Survey (PVS) to measure hardiness, and a researcher-developed likert scale measured help-seeking behaviors for academics and life circumstances. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics, single t-tests, correlation coefficients and the Mann- Whitney U test. This study found that students with primary social support relationships of a spouse or partner had significantly higher scores on the NSSQ subscales of Affect (p=.000) and Affirmation (p=.038). PVS subscale scores for Control were significantly higher (p=.0134) for students who reported daily contact with their primary relationships. Students with primary relationships lasting 5 years or more were significantly more likely to seek help for academic situations (p=.0496). Students with more than 10 support relationships were found to have significantly higher subscale scores in Affect (p=.000) and Affirmation (p=.002). Students with high numbers of social support relationships (20 or more) reported slightly higher actual academic performance (p=.071) than those with less than 20 relationships. Female students had' slightly higher overall hardiness scores (p=.0559) and significantly higher PVS subscale scores in Commitment (p=.0439) than male students. Female students were also significantly more likely than male students to seek help for academic situations (p=.0427). The findings from this study will contribute to the research base that exists on factors influencing successful completion of a program in nursing, as well as the current literature on social support, hardiness, and help-seeking behaviors. Identifying factors that affect successful baccalaureate program completion provides guidance in the development and selection of intervention strategies that promote student retention.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nursing students -- Social networks
Nursing students -- Attitudes
Academic achievement



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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