Barriers to Learning, Achievement, Institutional Identities and Professionalization


  • Miriam Aparicio Universidad Nacional de Cuyo



Psychology - Barriers to Learning - Researches on Psychology of Education, Social, Health, Organizational Studies, Quality, University, Delay, Identities, Professionalization


This study is part of the broader research program on University Quality Assessment. The aim was to go deep into the causes for delay in finishing studies in Argentina. This brings about a problem at the institutional and personal levels (disappointment, depression, frustration,…). In 1995 the Department of University Polices called for a contest to analyze the Causes for Dropout, and we won it. It had been preceded by another project (still in progress) dealing with graduates from different faculties. The combination of different factors (basic, personal, occupational, structural, institutional and psychosocial ones), concerning the 20 years of the UNCuyo and 6 Faculties/Study Courses (1987-2004; N 299 individuals) gradually showed which factors predicted different achievement levels, as well as the strongest underlying reasons of the individuals’ courses of action. The quantitative-qualitative method was applied. In this paper, we focus on a motivational factor: Fear of Failure; one of the predictive ones for delay along with others, as it showed differentiated profiles according to Academic Units and Courses of Studies (Disciplinary and institutional identities). The results are very relevant within a context in which delay in studies is quite evident. The intervention and support systems and Professionalization to improve University Quality and the students’ personal and professional achievement are necessary. Then, Performance, Identities and Professionalization comprise macroanalysis (national policies), mesoanalysis (questions differentiated as Academic Units), and microanalysis (individuals who are affected in their personal health and self-fulfillment due to the lack of non-disciplinary programs).