Title page for ETD etd-10282011-105603

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Taylor, Claire Frances
URN etd-10282011-105603
Title The Effect of Perceived Spatial Distance on the Decision to Relocate for Graduate Education
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Rizzuto, Tracey E. Committee Chair
Dumais, Susan A. Committee Member
Matthews, Russell A. Committee Member
  • relocation
  • graduate education
  • theory of planned behavior
  • perceived spatial distance
Date of Defense 2011-10-10
Availability unrestricted
This study investigated the influence of perceived spatial distance (PSD) on students’ intentions and decisions to relocate to pursue graduate education. The framework of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) provided the basis for measurement of the components of PSD, that is one’s attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control about spatial distance, as well as an understanding of how PSD may influence relocation intentions and decisions. The components of PSD were hypothesized to be positively related to relocation decisions, with relocation intentions acting as a moderator. Undergraduate students at Louisiana State University who had applied to at least one academic or professional graduate program and intended to graduate within one calendar year of beginning the survey served as the sample. They completed a web-based survey assessing the PSD components and intentions to relocate for postgraduate education at Time 1. Three months later at Time 2, these predictors were reassessed to establish construct stability, and for participants to report their ultimate relocation decisions. Correlation, regression, and relative importance analysis were used to test the hypothesized relationships. Overall, this exploration into PSD suggests that the constructs of PSD are stable over time, and that the components of PSD, especially subjective norms, are predictive of behavioral relocation intentions and decisions.
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