Photo of Joshua  Remedios

Joshua Remedios

Ph.D. Student

Key words: First-generation student; family achievement guilt; self-compassion; psychological ill-being

My thesis research focuses on the experiences of first-generation students (i.e., students whose parents/guardians have not completed a four-year degree). Compared to non

first-generation students, first-generation students often face unique challenges and multiple barriers to success as they navigate the novel academic and social environment of higher education. Recent research has shown that first-generation students may experience family achievement guilt, a sense of guilt for succeeding academically when other family members were not afforded the same opportunities. Concerningly, family achievement guilt has been found to be associated with psychological ill-being (e.g., depressive symptoms). One way in which family achievement guilt may be reduced is through self-compassion, a construct that emphasizes self-kindness, common humanity, and equanimity of emotions. Research suggests that self-compassion is associated with enhanced well-being, as well as psychopathological resistance. Overall, the purpose of my thesis is to examine the relationship between family achievement guilt and self-compassion in first-generation university students.