ERIC Number: ED340641
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Feb
Noninstructional Influences on Adolescent Engagement and Achievement. Final Report: Project 2.
Brown, B. Bradford; Steinberg, Laurence
The impact of four influences--family, peers, part-time employment, and school-sponsored extracurricular activities--on the achievement patterns of high school students is examined in this research study. The main purpose of the study was to identify the specific processes in each of the four areas by which students' academic engagement and school performance are increased or diminished. The processes focus on such questions as how different parenting strategies affected engagement and achievement and whether extracurricular participants were affected by the degree to which coaches or advisors emphasized academic achievement. A self-reporting survey questionnaire was developed and administered to high school students in three Wisconsin high schools and six in the San Francisco Bay (California) area. Among the main findings were that, in general, parents' actions had more impact on student achievement levels than their values or expectations. As for peer influences, most students reported that their friends encouraged achievement--at least to a moderate degree. The degree to which peers endorsed school achievement varied greatly in relation to which peer groups, or "crowd," the students belonged. It also was found that, in general, part-time employment distracted students from achievement, while extracurricular activities enhanced their school performance. Implications of the findings for parents and schools are discussed, as are the implications for future research. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Effective Secondary Schools, Madison, WI.