Date Approved

5-1-1998

Embargo Period

8-12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in School Psychology

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Dihoff, Roberta

Subject(s)

Academic achievement; Nature and nurture; School children

Disciplines

Educational Psychology

Abstract

Does environment affect academic achievement? The dispute over environmental influences has been the topic of numerous debates. This study was designed to investigate the relationship between academic achievement and the following environmental factors: family structure, ethnic background, socioeconomic circumstances and family size. The 1,500 participants of this study were collected from a large, extremely diverse elementary school population. From this general population, 134 students were selected for the control group based on participation in the Basic Skills Program. Data was collected using teacher surveys and parent contact information. State and federal guidelines were used when identifying children for Basic Skills Instruction and free or reduced lunch. The control group is described using the mentioned environmental factors and compared to the general population. Findings indicated a slight relationship between the factors and academic achievement.

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