Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Mark Angle

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Secondary; Education, Sociology of; Gender Studies; Sociology, General

Keywords

Achievement, Gender, Middle school, Self-efficacy, Socioeconomic Status

Disciplines

Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Sociology | Sociology

Abstract

The purpose of this correlational and causal comparative research design was to discover the existing relationships between students' self-efficacy and three other variables: (a) achievement, (b) gender, and (c) socioeconomic status. Approximately 257 eighth grade students participated in the study. The study was conducted in a non-diverse public school located in the northeastern mountains of Georgia. Over 55% of the students receive free/reduced price lunches. The findings from this study contribute to the growing knowledge about how the factors of achievement, gender, and socioeconomic status (SES) are related to a student's self-efficacy. A correlational design was used to analyze the relationship between self-efficacy and student achievement, and a comparative design was used to analyze the relationship between SES and gender of the students, and how those variables affect student self-efficacy. All participants completed a 37-question survey, Children's Perceived Self-Efficacy Scale, which was used to measure the self-efficacy of students. Student achievement ability was measured with the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Whether a student was eligible for free or reduced price lunches determined the SES of each student. The findings from this study can be used to help improve students' desire to learn by the development of programs within schools to address different areas of self-efficacy.

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