Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)


School of Education

Degree Name




The purpose of this study was to ascertain the developmental status of a selected group of Black freshman college women; and to determine if there was a relation ship between their developmental status and their academic performance, interpersonal fuctioning and curriculum adj ustment.


In this study nine hypotheses were tested. Hypotheses one and two were tested, using the Fisher t—test for uncorrelated samples to determine the influence of the awareness of developmental status on academic performance and interpersonal functioning. Hypotheses three, four and five were tested using the Pearson product moment co efficient of correlation to determine the degree of relationship between autonomy—developmental status and academic performance. The Pearson r was used to test hypctheses six, seven and eight, to determine the degree of relationship between autonomy—developmental status, interpersonal relationships—developmental status and inter personal functioning. The Chi-square test of significance and the Fisher exact probability test were used in testing hypothesis nine to determine the influence of the awareness of developmental status upon curriculum adjustment. The .05 level of significance was the criterion for acceptance of each null hypothesis.


One hundred and sixteen Black female freshman college students were the participants in this study. There were fifty-three subjects in the experimental group and sixty-three subjects in the control group. A strati fied random sample of 150 students was selected from the 1982-83 entering freshman class in a predominantly Black southern liberal arts college for women. Due to lack of availability of data, thirty-four of these students had to be eliminated.

Pre- and post-investigation data were collected from the experimental and the control groups. These con sisted of developmental status scores from the Student Developmental Task Inventory; inventoried vocational interests from the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory; intended curriculum (major) and vocational choice from the American Council on Education Questionnaire and the New Student Slip; interpersonal functioning scores from the Attitude Questionnaire on Interpersonal Relationships; age, SAT or ACT scores, grade point averages, second semester majors, and activities in which each subject participated from college records. Early in the spring semester, the Student Developmental Task Inventory results were interpreted to the subjects in the experimental group in small groups as the treatment for this study by five trained graduate assistants who served as counselors.


Conclusions drawn from the findings of this study were as follows: 1. Freshman college females who are aware of their developmental status are very likely to function interpersonally at a higher level than those who are not aware. This awareness, however, is not likely to be reflected in their academic performance.

2. Neither autonomy, purpose nor inter personal relationships-developmental status were predictors of academic performance.

3. There was a significant relationship between autonomy, purpose and interpersonal relationships-developmental status and interpersonal functioning for the control group subjects but only interpersonal relatioships-developmental status was significantly related to interpersonal functioning for the experimental group subj ects.

4. Neither the frequency nor the direction of curricular adjustment was significantly influenced by awareness of developmental status of the freshman college females in this study.

5. Of the variables considered in this study relative to the student profile, only combined SAT scores demonstrated the potential to be used as a predictor of academic performance.

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