Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hall, Kimberly Renee

Committee Member

Justice, Cheryl A.

Committee Member

Looby, Eugenie J.

Committee Member

Dooley, Katherine

Committee Member

Hare, R. Dwight

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


School Counseling

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Student academic success is a primary concern for schools across the nation. Administrators, school counselors, teachers, and community leaders work together to increase success levels among students K-12. Various studies throughout history have sought to determine the many variables that contribute to academic success. The purpose of this study was to continue adding to the literature base in an effort to identify areas that could impact student academic success. In particular, this study examined whether academic self-efficacy, ethnic identity, sex, and socioeconomic status reliably predicted academic performance among students in Grades 6, 7, and 8. Using a non-experimental, quantitative design, this correlational research study explored the relationships of several variables (academic self-efficacy, ethnic identity, sex, and socioeconomic status) with academic performance of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade adolescents. Grade point averages and scores from the Mississippi Curriculum Test, Second Edition (MCT-2) were obtained from each student’s cumulative record. Students completed the Morgan-Jinks Student Efficacy Scale (Jinks & Morgan, 1999) and the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (Phinney, 1999). Scores from these two assessments, grade point averages, and scores from the MCT-2 were entered into SPSS. After analyzing results with a multiple linear regression analysis, the researcher concluded that a final model, with the two variables of academic self-efficacy and sex, was statistically significant. The researcher concluded that academic self-efficacy and sex might act as buffers for the impact of ethnic identity and socioeconomic status on student academic performance. Results indicated that those students who had higher academic self-efficacy levels had higher grade point averages and MCT-2 levels. Furthermore, differences in sex also play a pertinent part in student academic performance, with girls demonstrating both higher grade point averages and MCT2 scores than boys. Using information gained from this study, school counselors may want to specifically address academic self-efficacy when working with students who are performing poorly academically. Classroom guidance, individual counseling, and small group counseling are the perfect avenues to specifically target this area with students. School counselors may also wish to host developmental workshops geared towards faculty, staff, and parents so that additional revisions can be made in other environments.



academic self-efficacy||ethnic identity||sex||socioeconomic status||academic performance||adolescents