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ERIC Number: EJ860468
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-1559-5455
College Students and Academic Performance: A Case of Taking Control
Mansfield, Phylis M.; Pinto, Mary Beth; Parente, Diane H.; Wortman, Thomas I.
NASPA Journal, v46 n3 p502-518 2009
College students face a myriad of pressures and challenges in the academic environment as they seek to maintain optimal performance or even to remain in the academic program. In 2002, it was reported that more than 30% of first-year students did not return for their second year of college (Smith), and only 40% are reported to actually compete their degree and graduate (Newby, 2002). This information suggests that either due to problems with integration or other difficulties encountered in the social or academic culture of the institution, a significant proportion of college students fail to attain an acceptable level of academic achievement and ultimately withdraw (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991). The better we understand the factors that contribute to academic success, the greater the potential for positive and timely intervention to improve the chances of undergraduates earning adequate grades and successfully completing their higher educational experience. One of the factors shown to correlate with a successful academic career is that of the student's ability to delay gratification (Muraven, Baumeister, & Tice, 1999). This ability is contained in the personality trait of self-control. This study surveyed 304 undergraduates on a northeastern public college campus to address the question, "Do high academic performers differ from low academic performers in terms of their reported level of self-control?" The study found a significant difference between high and low academic performers in terms of their overall level of self-control, as well as significant differences in various other subdimensions of the self-control construct such as impulsivity, risk-seeking behavior, and a preference for physical activity. From an educational policy perspective, one implication of our findings is to offer administrators better information on how self-control (or the lack thereof) manifests itself in college students. Programs aimed at improving students' self-control, and ultimately academic performance, could focus on helping undergraduates recognize, monitor, and regulate their tendencies toward excessive risk seeking or physical activity, thereby balancing the challenges of self-discipline and self-regulation. (Contains 2 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