Date of Award

Fall 12-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Chair

Dr. Mary Nell McNeese

Committee Chair Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 2

Dr. W. Lee Pierce

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 3

Dr. Shujie Liu

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 4

Dr. Thomas V. O'Brien

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of self-efficacy and motivation characteristics on the achievement of at-risk students. Seventy-nine Upward Bound program participants completed self-efficacy, motivation, and demographic questionnaires. The relationship between GPA and self-efficacy was significant, negative, and low in strength. High GPA was associated with high self-efficacy (as shown by lower numbers on the survey). Gender, length of time in the Upward Bound (UB) program, length of participation in the UB summer program, college sponsor (community or four-year college), self-efficacy characteristics, and motivation characteristics significantly predicted academic achievement as measured by GPA. The relationship between motivation and self-efficacy was significant and low in strength. The results showed that higher extrinsic motivation was associated with higher intrinsic motivation. Results also showed that higher self-efficacy was associated with lower amotivation and higher intrinsic motivation. The author suggests that researchers continue to study self-efficacy and motivation characteristics to determine strategies for academic success of at-risk students.