School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Joseph Fontanella


Protective Factors, Risk Factors, Education, Sociological Framework


Education | Educational Leadership


The achievement gap has been extensively studied in urban and low-income schools. This study looked at the opposite end of the demographic spectrum to inform a wealthier, low-minority district of the predictive nature of risk and protective factors present in the lives of 10th-grade students as reported by the students. The purpose of this study was to see if student perceived effects of risk and protective factors in four environments have a predictive correlation to student grades. Using the socioecological framework the non-experimental, descriptive, correlational study used archival data to determine if risk and protective factors show a correlation for students reporting different average grades. The ordinal regression study, with the sample size of 805 10th graders from a high achieving, high income district yielded results that indicated that there is a predictive relationship between student self-reported grades and the protective and risk factors in their lives. The study found that students having low protection factors have approximately half the odds of getting high grades than those that reported having high risk factors. Students also reported that having high risk factors in their lives made them approximately three times more likely to have lower grades. This study provided data that quantifies previous assumptions about the predictive relationship between grades and the protective and risk factors in the various environments that impact students’ lives.