SO/AN 371: Foundations of Social Science Research: Quantitative Methods – Final Papers

Selected Reports of Research Conducted by Sociology/Anthropology Students


Fall 2013: College Students and Money

Americans have become increasingly concerned with the debt load of college students and its impact on their futures, and college graduates may be ill-equipped to understand and manage their finances.  Student researchers in SOAN371 surveyed undergraduates about their expected and accrued levels of educational debt, their patterns of financial behavior such as budgeting and online shopping, and their financial literacy.

Students’ Expected Levels of Debt and Their Academic and Career Decisions

Jessica Guzman, Anna Luckow, Francesca Sifferlin, Grace Tabatabai, and Patrick Tinsley

College Students, Majors, Job Prospects, and Financial Behavior

Evan Davis, Margot Fleming, Taryn Manthey-Logan, Thao Vang, Laura Willodson

Financial Literacy and Perceptions of Post-College Life of Undergraduates

Alex Askew, Madison Goering, Isaac Rysdahl, Cameron Smith, Lou Lia Wang

Financing your Future: College Students’ Debt and Postgraduate Plans

Marie Buchner, Katherine Fitzgerald, Emily Goodhue, Mac Leydon


Fall 2012: Teamwork in the Classroom and Workplace

Teamwork is increasingly prevalent in the workplace and classroom, and team performance is crucial.  This year’s SOAN371 student researchers asked undergraduates about their preferences and experiences regarding several aspects of teams that affect team performance, including leadership, conflict, communication, team cohesion, and peer feedback.

Gender, Extraversion, and Team Cohesion

De’Mico Davis, Christina Espey-Sundt, Tenzin Kunsal, Joe Pickering, Kristen Svoboda

How Team Experience Affects Perceptions of Leadership Styles

Kelsey Brown, Rachel Johnson, Amy Meyer, and Stephanie Robert


Fall 2011: Millennials in the Workplace

What needs, expectations, and habits do today’s young people bring to the workplace, and what intergenerational tensions arise?  These young adults – Millennials, born after 1980 – are the focus of our research, along with their Generation X and Baby Boomer co-workers and supervisors. Collectively, this research is based on six online surveys – two each of current Millennial students (a total of 523 St. Olaf juniors and seniors), Millennial workers (196 St. Olaf alumni) and Generation X and Baby Boomer workers (248 St. Olaf alumni).

All Squared Away?: An Examination of Millennials’ Use of Structure in the Workplace

Charlotte Bolch, Hannah Ehlenfeldt, Alondra Lopez, Ashley Menzel, and Emily Van Essen

Helicopter Parenting?: Parental Involvement In the Workplace

Kyle Cassling, Justine Frederick, Ingrid Olson, William Totimeh, Matthew Venker

Hiring, Promotion, and Progress: Millennials’ Expectations in the Workplace

Kyra Friedell, Katrina Puskala, Morgan Smith, Nicole Villa


Fall 2010: The Transition to Adulthood

How do college students approach the transition to post-college life? As they consider their passions, develop their career plans, and investigate possible graduate programs, which resources, activities, and experiences do they turn to? Which resources do they find most helpful? How confident do they feel in their plans and skills? The papers included below address these questions, based on data from three online surveys of St. Olaf College students (1,025 students in total). As part of SOAN371, six teams of students conducted applied research on the transition to post-college life, serving as research consultants for the St. Olaf Main Street Project Steering Committee, a group charged with exploring ways that the college might better prepare students for the transition to vocation and career. Student consultants gathered data to answer the committee’s questions about students’ plans and experiences regarding preparation for the transition to post-college life – information that could be put to practical use in new and improved programs for students. The research teams also conducted research to advance social science knowledge about the transition from college to vocation and career.

Approaching the Transition to Adulthood: Vocational and Career Discernment among Undergraduates

Julia Aaker, Avery Baird, James Cahalan, Fatima Omar, Kylie Swanson, Siri Thompson

Building Transferable Skills through Informal Experiences

Soraya Dangor, Maddie Hansen, Breanna Johnson, Anna Martin, Zach Pietryla

The Job Search: An Investigation of Students’ Feelings Toward Post-Graduation Plans

Elaine Atcheson, Green Bouzard, Ryan Evans, Morgan Harden, Kathryn Southard, and Ryan Trostrud

College Students’ Career Exploration: The Impact of Social Networks and Individual Self-Efficacy

Stephanie Abbas, Miriam Brown, Kurt Hager, Victoria Heinonen, Rae Tamblyn, and Tenzin Norzin Waleag


Fall 2009: College Students and Social Support

How much do college students feel supported by the people in their lives? To what extent do they experience a sense of belonging, closeness, and caring, as well as tangible support, and from whom? What happens when support is lacking? The papers included below examine these questions. Collectively, they are based on an online survey of 333 St. Olaf College students.

Religiosity and Perceived Social Support

Mara Fink, Laya Hess, Melanie Hornbeck, Brita Johnson, Lyndel Owens, and Violet Thor

The Drive for Thinness: The Relationship Between Social Support, Body Image and Eating Habits

Emily Larson, Jessica Retka, Emily Quinnell, Alyssa Williams, and fifth author

+1 Friend Request: The Internet and Social Support

Karin Christenson, Kirstine Foster, Joseph Schantz, and Alex Schmidt

The Over-Involved Ole: Community Involvement and Depressive Symptoms

Cassie Forster, Kari Grimes, Mia Philip, Stacy Robert, and Clara Swanson


Fall 2008: College Students and Close Relationships

Do you wonder how college students feel about interethnic dating and long-distance relationships? Are you concerned about loneliness among college students and how they cope with it? Are you curious about students’ experiences with virginity loss and hook-ups, the attitudes of heterosexual students toward gay and lesbian students, and student expectations of finding a future spouse at college? The papers included below report on these topics. Collectively, they are based on an online survey of 315 St. Olaf College students.

The Colors of Love: Attitudes toward Inter-ethnic Romantic Relationships among College Students

Nick Coley, Sarah Jacobson, Tessa Johanson, and Sarah Kirby

So Close But So Far Away: Comparing Intimacy Levels in Long Distance and Geographically Close Dating Relationships

Samantha Davison, Susan Hill, Caroline Mondoh, and Kai Redalen

Consultant: Seth Huiras, Statistics Fellow, Center for Integrative Research

Dating and Hookups: A Look at Intimate Experience among Current College Students

Jaclyn Miller, Jose Ramirez, Will Smith, and Nichole Rohlfsen

Kate Virkler, Statistics Fellow