Long-term Impact of Early Grade Retention

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Ellsworth, Angela
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Mount Saint Vincent University
An abundance of research has shown that the practice of grade retention has many negative consequences for the lives of students who struggle academically. What is not apparent in the literature are the views of grade retention from adults who have experienced retention as children. A total of 51 individuals (18 women, 33 men) enrolled in a post secondary institution participated in this study. The test group, those individuals who experienced grade retention, was comprised of 25 individuals, while the control group was comprised of 26 individuals. Participants were matched on age, gender, grade 12 grade point average (GPA), family structure, and family stressors. The retained group did not differ significantly from the control group on measures of self-esteem and self-efficacy. Additional analyses of the data resulted in significant correlations for the retained group, non-retained group, and the entire sample between self-esteem, subscales of the self-efficacy measure and demographic questions. Contributions and caveats of the study, as well as suggestions for professionals (school psychologists, teachers and administrators) working in the school system are discussed.
Grade Retention , Self-Esteem , Self-Efficacy , Adulthood