Publication Date

2020

First Advisor

Maryjane Wraga

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

Keywords

Autobiographical memory, Homesickness, Mobile communication

Abstract

Homesickness can affect all areas of a students’ life, including their relationships, physical and mental health, and even cognitive abilities (Stroebe et al., 2015). Some aspects of homesickness in college students have been studied widely, but there has been a lack of research on the possibility of effects on cognition. Additionally, there have not been many studies that take into account the possible impact of the rise of mobile communication usage on homesickness. The present study investigated how homesickness affects the location and quality of students’ autobiographical memories, and additionally, how using mobile communication platforms to contact people from home versus people from college affects homesickness. Ninety-two first year and sophomore undergraduate students participated in an online study in which they recalled memories of word prompts and rated characteristics of them. They also completed both a homesickness and a mobile communication use survey. We found high levels of homesickness overall, and most of the prompt-level memory characteristics were rated higher for memories from home. However, our main hypothesis, that students with greater homesickness would spend more time communicating with people from home than with people from college on all mobile communication platforms, was not supported, perhaps because mobile communication usage was skewed to the lowest level for all platforms. Additionally, we found that prompt-level memory characteristics significantly predicted prompt-level homesickness and that person-level homesickness predicted both prompt-level homesickness and prompt-level desire to contact the people involved in the reported memories. The latter indicates an indirect influence on communication. Taken together, these findings indicate that homesickness may affect students’ experiences of autobiographical memories.

Rights

2020 Sylvie Jean Lednicky. Access limited to the Smith College community and other researchers while on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other off-campus researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use.

Language

English

Comments

43 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 35-38)

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