Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


Educational Psychology and Methodology

Content Description

1 online resource (xiv, 164 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Dianna Newman

Committee Members

Dianna Newman, Deborah May, Dean Spaulding


College, Development, Emerging Adults, Learning Patterns, Learning Styles, Technology, Young adults, Verbal learning, Visual learning, College environment

Subject Categories

Developmental Psychology | Education | Educational Psychology


Emerging adults, who are transitioning from adolescence to adulthood, often spend a significant amount of time on college campuses preparing for their future endeavors. Today's educator is facing many options for addressing the educational needs of their students, as well as a myriad of learning resources and tremendous advances in technology. Their emerging adult students are dealing with multiple distractions, adjustments and transitions. This study examined preferred emerging adult learning styles in light of an information processing framework using grounded theory qualitative analysis. The study also explored students' reported preferences for optimal learning experiences and engagement within the collegiate classroom, and examined how emerging adult students determine importance in classroom content. Data was collected in two replication phases. Round I included reflective journals (N=36) and self-report surveys (N=51). Round 2 included replication, with slight modifications based upon lessons learned in the first round, yielding reflective journal (N=27) and survey (N=42) data. Consistency in results in the second round of study reinforced the reliability and validity of this study.