Publication Date

Spring 5-11-2022

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


This study explored resilience among Latinx, first-generation students at the University of San Diego who are products of single-parent families. Being a product of a single-parent household while holding these other identities affects students in a variety of ways throughout their educational journey. Even when controlling for economic and racial differences of the family, students from two-parent families outperform students from one-parent families across a plethora of measures (Barajas, 2011). Despite having extra challenges, some of these students have learned to be quite resilient to achieve their goals and educational aspirations. This study aimed to answer the following questions: (1) What factors contribute to resilience among Latinx, first-generation students who are products of single-parent families? (2) What types of resources, programs, events, and/or initiatives can predominantly White institutions implement for Latinx, first-generation students who are products of single-parent families to foster resilience and enable students to leverage their different forms of capital? My questionnaire and one-on-one interviews revealed my co-participants' biggest motivation in their educational journey was correlated with sacrifices made by their single parents to get them to higher education. Additionally, being the product of a single-parent family made my co-participants feel they had something to prove. My co-participants also indicated they would have benefited from resources and programs such as Spanish/bilingual orientations, Latinx support groups, and financial literacy workshops.