Toward a Cultural Advancement of Tinto's Theory

Despite the broad appeal of Tinto's (1993) theory, it is not well supported by empirical research, especially when applied to minority students. While prior critiques of the theory indicate the need to modify Tinto's concept of "breaking away" when applying the theory to diverse students, research suggests a need for additional refinements. In addition to recognizing the need for students to maintain cultural and familial connections to succeed at college, the author contends that the theory can be advanced by integrating research from social and cross-cultural psychology that has investigated relationships among cultural norms, motivational orientation, and academic achievement and persistence.