Author(s)

Laura O'Malley

Date Approved

8-8-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. School Psychology-Professional School Psychology

Department

Psychology

College

College of Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

Klanderman, John

Subject(s)

Coeducation;Academic achievement

Disciplines

Higher Education | Student Counseling and Personnel Services

Abstract

The purposes of this exploratory investigation were to (a) ascertain the current academic performance of Rowan University freshman (n=117) in their second semester, compare this with academic performance in their senior year of high school, and (b) determine to what extent, if any, their high school classroom gender composition influenced their current performance. Overall, female students who had single-sex instruction (SSI) averaged an 8% improvement in grades, while co-ed taught girls averaged 3% better. Male SSI students averaged 40% worse, while co-ed males averaged 12% worse. For male participants, data showed a moderate positive correlation (r = .38) between amount of time spent in SSI and change in academic performance, meaning the more time spent in SSI, the larger decrease in academic performance overall. This is inconsistent with hypothesized results, and previous findings. However, for female participants, results showed a strong positive correlation (r=.65) between the amount of time spent in SSI and change in academic performance. In other words, the more time spent in SSI, the more academic performance decreases in the first year at a co-ed college. This is consistent with the current school of thought that same-sex learning environments are conducive to better academic performance for girls.

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