Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in School Psychology


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Klanderman, John

Second Advisor

Dihoff, Roberta


Grade repetition


Educational Psychology


The purpose of this investigation was to examine if grade retention has a positive effect on a child's academic performance, and if females, whether retained or not, improved more academically than males. Language/literacy and mathematics cumulative grades of 58 students in the second and third grade were compared using the Kruskal-Wallis test. The results indicated that students who were retained improved more in academic performance than students who were low-achievers but promoted instead and those placed in a transition class. In addition the findings showed that males, whether retained or not, had higher mathematical scores than females, but there was no difference between males and females in performance of language/literacy using a Two-way ANOVA. Despite the increasing popularity of grade retention of low-achieving students, many people disagreed with the practice of retaining students in response to the poor academic performance. Therefore, many school administrators and psychologists have suggested alternatives to retention, such as reducing class sizes, delaying school entry, and employing various classroom assessments to improve students' academic performance. However, more research is the key to its effectiveness.