ERIC Number: EJ1049671
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Improving Academic Self-Efficacy, School Connectedness, and Identity in Struggling Middle School Girls: A Preliminary Study of the "REAL Girls" Program
Mann, Michael J.; Smith, Megan L.; Kristjansson, Alfgeir L.
Health Education & Behavior, v42 n1 p117-126 Feb 2015
Girls struggling to be successful in middle school are often dealing with negative life experiences that affect their ability to achieve academically. Frequently, their academic failures and problem behaviors are associated with feeling overwhelmed by difficult and challenging life circumstances. In the absence of intervention, these patterns may contribute to girls chronically underperforming in school, dropping out of school, and becoming involved in delinquent and high-risk behaviors. This article describes a quasi-experimental, mixed-methods study of the "REAL Girls" program. "REAL Girls" was designed to help struggling middle school girls develop resilience--particularly academic self-efficacy, school connectedness, and identity--and achieve successful outcomes in school and life. In this study, using a crossover design, 48 girls identified as experiencing academic failure, school behavior problems, or truancy participated in one of two implementations of this 3-day intervention. Findings based on both quantitative and qualitative data suggest that "REAL Girls" contributed to positive increases in academic self-efficacy, school connectedness, and identity. Repeated measures analysis of variance and paired t tests suggest significant increases in each outcome variable, both immediately after program delivery and 2 weeks later, and effect size estimates suggest moderate to large program impact. Focus groups conducted 90 days after implementation of the program confirmed the quantitative findings and support the efficacy of the "REAL Girls" program and approach.
Descriptors: Middle School Students, Females, Self Efficacy, Student School Relationship, Self Concept, Intervention, Statistical Analysis, Qualitative Research, Outcomes of Education, Academic Achievement, Academic Failure, Mixed Methods Research, Resilience (Psychology), Quasiexperimental Design, Focus Groups, Program Evaluation, Measures (Individuals), At Risk Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A