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ERIC Number: EJ787014
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 22
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-1066-8926
Causal Attributions for Success or Failure of Students in College Algebra
Cortes-Suarez, Gina; Sandiford, Janice R.
Community College Journal of Research and Practice, v32 n4-6 p325-346 Apr 2008
Research in the field of attribution theory and academic achievement suggests a relationship between a student's attributional style and achievement. Theorists and researchers contend that attributions influence individual reactions to success and failure. They also report that individuals use attributions to explain and justify their performance. Studies in mathematics education identify attribution theory as the theoretical orientation most suited to explain academic performance in mathematics. This study focused on the relationship among a high risk course, low success rates, and attribution by examining the difference in the attributions passing and failing students gave for their performance in College Algebra. Students from a large urban community college in South Florida (n = 410) self-reported their performance on an in-class test by providing open-ended attribution statements to explain the cause of their performance. They then attributed their performance along the dimensions of locus of causality, stability, personal controllability, and external controllability using the Causal Dimensions Scale (CDSII). The open-ended attribution statements were coded in relation to ability, effort, task difficulty, and luck and compared using a Pearson chi- square procedure. The quantitative data compared the passing and failing groups and their attributions for performance on the test using One-way ANOVA and Pearson chi-square procedures. The results of the quantitative data comparing passing and failing groups and their attributions along the dimensions measured by the CDSII indicated statistical significance in locus of causality, stability, and personal controllability. The results comparing the open-ended attribution statements indicated statistical significance in the categories of effort and task difficulty. (Contains 9 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida