An Exploration of Self-Concept, Parent Education, Parent and Student Attitudes towards School, Study Habits and Achievement of Junior High Students

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Yang, Rodney
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Mount Saint Vincent University
The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between self-concept and academic self-concept, parent education, parent and student attitudes towards school, study habits and student achievement in a group of junior high students. This study investigated whether student achievement scores varied significantly by ratings for various aspects of self-concept as well as global self-concept, parent educational levels and gender. As well, the study examined how student and parental attitudes towards school correlated with each other. A third aspect of the study was an exploration of the best predictors for achievement in math, English and overall average academic. Sixty-nine grade six students participated in this study. Student responses to the Battle (2002) Culture Free Self-Esteem Inventory and researcher developed scales to examine student attitudes towards school and study habits were collected. Student achievement scores on English and math tests for the last two terms of grade six were obtained fi-om the cumulative records of the students. A parental attitudes towards school questionnaire developed by the researcher and a demographic data form designed to obtain selected background information including parental education attainment were completed by consenting parents and returned to the school along with consent forms for their children to participate in the study. ANOVA, t-test, correlational and regression analysis were performed on the data and produced the following major findings. Student groups with above-average Global and Academic Self-Concept achieved significantly higher scores in English and math than groups with lower Global and Academic Self-Concept ratings. However, gender had little or no effect on the achievement levels. Relative to the correlations among the variables. Global Self-Concept and Academic Self-Concept ranked among the top three with a positive correlation with the achievement variables. A surprising finding was that parent attitudes towards school was negatively correlated with parent education. Of all variables entered for predicting the achievement levels of the students. Academic Self-Concept turned out to be the strongest predictor for English and also the only predictor for the math and the average academic achievement scores. Parent education was the second strongest in predicting the English scores. All the other variables including Global Self-Concept played little or no part in predicting the performances on any of the achievement measures. These results were discussed in light of the literature, their implications for further research and for practice.
Junior High Students , Student attitudes , Academic achievement , Academic Self-Concept