Brief Report

Are Rural Students from Historically Disadvantaged Communities Prepared for Psychology Studies at University?

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 22, issue 3, 2012 , pages: 419–424
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2012.10820548
Author(s): Anthony L. PillayUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal,, Jabulani D. ThwalaUniversity of Zululand,


This study investigated the self-perceived preparedness of students from a historically disadvantaged rural South African setting for psychology studies at a university. The study sample comprised 399 beginning students with a historically Black university (age M = 22.8 years, SD = 5.1; 72.2% women; 65.7% rural background) students. The students responded to a questionnaire investigating, inter alia, prior awareness of the subject, access to psychology literature, awareness of psychologists in their communities, perceived relevance to or clashes with their culture, and parental awareness of the subject. Of the sample, 48.1% first heard about psychology upon entering a university, 75.7% had no access to books on the subject, and only 44.6% received information from their school teachers about psychology as a career. Significantly more urban (65.2%) than rural (34.8%) students had received information about psychology before coming to university.

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