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Cody, Jenn, Jessica, Lindsey, Megan

Learning Outcomes
Apply the theory to a real life example

See how the theory is versatile

Be able to recognize when students are in a transitional period

Means more than just students transitioning from high school to college

Facilitate an understanding of adults in transition and aid them in
connecting to the help they needed to cope with the ordinary and
extraordinary process of living (p. vii)

A vehicle for analyzing human adaptation to transition (p. 2)

Application to Student Affairs

Adult development and college student
development are not mutually exclusive
Research has addressed both adult learners and
traditional undergraduate students

Transition Defined
Any event, or non-event, that results in
changed relationships, routines,
assumptions and roles (Schlossberg,

In this theory,

Meaning for the individual based on
Type: anticipated, unanticipated, nonevent
Context: relationship to transition and the setting
Impact: alterations in daily life

Anticipated- Occur predictably, as expected
-Getting married, going to college, eating dinner

Unanticipated- Are not predictable

-Sudden death, winning the lottery, getting fired without notice

Nonevent- Transitions that are expected, but do not occur

-Not being admitted into medical school, not getting a specific Graduate Assistantship
*An event must be likely to happen in order to qualify as a non-event when it fails to occur*

Context & Impact

Applying ones own relationship to
the transition and setting

Degree to which the transitions

alters daily life

Transition Process
Dealing with a transition = a process that extends over time
Move from a preoccupation with transition to integration of transition
Transitions consist of series of phases
moving in
moving through
moving out

Coping: The 4 Ss
4 major sets of factors influencing ability to cope with a transition:

Appraisal of transition = important determiner of coping process

2 types of appraisals made
Primary: ones view of the transition itself (positive, negative, irrelevant?)
Secondary: self-assessment of ones resources for coping with the transition

Several important factors when examining the situation
Trigger: what precipitated the transition?
Timing: Is this a good or bad time for the individual? Is this on or off in regards to
their social clock?
Control: What does the individual perceive to be in their control?
Role Change: Is a role change involved? Is this change seen as a gain or a loss?
Duration: Is this situation considered as permanent, temporary, or uncertain?
Previous Experience with Similar Transition: How effectively did the individual cope
with the similar transition, and what are the implications for the current transition?
Concurrent Stress: Are multiple sources of stress present?


Factors considered important in relation to self are classified into 2

1) Personal and Demographic Characteristics: This category affects how an individual
views life, including: socioeconomic status, gender, age (emphasis on psychological,
social, and functional age chronologically), stage of life, state of health, and
2) Psychological Resources: This category helps aid the individual with coping, including:
ego development, outlook (emphasis on optimism and self-efficacy), commitment &
values, and spirituality & resiliency

Reflection Exercise
*Using the handout provided, take a
few minutes to reflect on yourself

*Think, pair, share

Refers to social support
3 facets:

Four Types
Intimate relationships
Family units
Networks of friends

Functions of support:
Honest Feedback

Measured by identifying individuals:

Stable supports
Supports that are to some degree role dependent
Supports most likely to change

Coping responses fall into 3 categories:
Those that modify the situation
Those that control the meaning of the problem
Those that aid in managing the stress in the aftermath

4 coping modes:
Information seeking
Direct action
Inhibition of action
Intrapsychic behavior

It has been a difficult semester for Eric, a 21-year-old senior. Within the past
two months , his father was killed in an automobile accident, and he failed to
gain acceptance to any of the medical schools to which he applied. To become
a doctor was a lifelong dream for Eric, a dream for him that his family shared.
Eric thought things were getting a little brighter when he began going out with
Jason, but Jason has since indicated that he does not wish to pursue their

Test your knowledge on another example!

Coccarelli, J. L. (2010). Applying Schlossberg's transition theory to students with learning disabilities in the transition from
high school to college.
Combs, W. A. (2015). Academic coaching practices for students with learning disabilities and differences. (Doctoral
DeVilbiss, S. E. (2014). The transition experience: Understanding the transition from high school to college for
conditionally-admitted students using the lens of Schlossberg's transition theory (Doctoral dissertation).
Lenz, B. (2001). The transition from adolescence to young adulthood: a theoretical perspective. Journal Of School Nursing
(Allen Press Publishing Services Inc.), 17(6), 300-306 7p. doi:10.1177/10598405010170060401
Peters, J. (2011, January 1). Transition Skills of First-Year College Students with Learning Disabilities. ProQuest LLC.

Rodriguez-Kiino, D. (2013). Supporting Students in Transition: Perspectives and Experiences of Community College
Transfer Students. Journal Of Applied Research In The Community College, 20(2), 5-14.
Schlossberg, N. K. (2011), the challenge of change: the transition model and its applications. Jnl of Employment
Counseling, 48: 159162. doi: 10.1002/j.2161-1920.2011.tb01102.x
Taub, D. J. (2008). Exploring the Impact of Parental Involvement on Student Development. New Directions For Student
Services, (122), 15-28.
Workman, J. L. (2015). Exploratory Students' Experiences With First-Year Academic Advising. NACADA Journal, 35(1), 512. doi:10.12930/NACADA-14-005
Workman, J. L. (2015). Parental Influence on Exploratory Students College Choice, Major, and Career Decision Making.
College Student Journal, 49(1), 23-30.