Measuring dimensions of social climate among South African higher education students

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 27, issue 6, 2017 , pages: 511–514
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2017.1399552
Author(s): Chris MyburghDepartment of Educational Psychology, South Africa, Marie PoggenpoelDepartment of Nursing Science, South Africa, Marie Hastings-TolsmaDepartment of Nursing Science, South Africa


We investigated the structure of social climate among university students to characterise the relative importance of personal and interpersonal factors. Participants were 266 students from a school of education of a large South African university (females = 66.5%; black = 53.0%, white = 25.9%; coloured = 7.5%, Asian/Indian = 6.0%; mean age = 28.71 years, SD = 10.51 years). The students completed the Experience of Social Climate Questionnaire (ESCQ). Exploratory principal component factor analysis of the data yielded a three component structure of social climate comprising of (i) Constructive interpersonal relationships, (ii) Unloving towards self, and (iii) Aggression perceptions of self. Relationships and aggression appear to define social climate in a higher education student population.

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