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ERIC Number: ED523426
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 244
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-2192-6
Building a Conceptual Model of Academic Effort for Traditional First-Year College Students
Nelson, Joretta
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Azusa Pacific University
With retention and persistence-to-graduation rates showing little improvement in previous decades, institutions of higher education continue to seek ways to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning in order to achieve. The primary purpose of this study was to examine the roles and relationships of selected psychological and social variables in predicting effort behaviors and semester GPA of traditional first-year students at six private residential institutions. Secondarily, this study's purpose was to develop a theoretical model that would test the complex interplay of these variables related to student effort and semester GPA through the use of structural equation modeling (SEM). The research questions were: To what extent do psychological capital, hope, optimism, resiliency, self-efficacy, academic control, mindset, and institutional commitment predict first-year students' levels of effort, after controlling for gender, high- school grades, and ethnicity? How well do conceptual models of academic effort and semester GPA that are based on these variables fit the data collected from this sample of first-year students, after controlling for gender, high-school grades, and ethnicity? The data for this correlational study were collected from 627 first-time freshmen at six different private residential colleges/universities located around the United States. The theoretical framework for this study was expectancy-value theory which assumes that choices are influenced by specific beliefs about ability, perceptions of task difficulty, individual goals, and self-schema (Eccles & Wigfield, 2002). SEM was used to analyze the data, allowing the exploration of relationships between multiple variables and indicators within a hypothesized model. Of the original eight independent variables, only hope, academic control, and mindset remained as predictors of effort. Together, these three constructs helped to explain 87% of the variance in the validated effort model with hope as the strongest indicator. This study adds to the literature by confirming the value of psychosocial constructs in explaining student achievement above and beyond prior academic performance. These findings provide higher education professionals the opportunity to strategically influence students' personal responsibility for the learning which may offer increased opportunities for their success. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States