Date of Award

5-1-2002

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Department of Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Claudette Williams

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between select societal influences, such as family structure, peer pressure, mass media, socio-economic status, school environment, and community involvement, and students' values on academic success. The seven questions asked in this research examined the relationship between multiple selected variables and students' academic achievement. The review of literature focused on societal influences impacting values and academic achievement. This study investigated two dependent variables—student values and academic achievement (in reading and mathematics)—as they relate to six independent variables— the societal influences. The data are presented and analyzed with respect to each of the research questions/hypotheses formulated, and the findings of each are reported. A questionnaire was developed by the researcher to collect responses to address the questions prepared to guide this study. The study was conducted in four middle schools in the Atlanta Public Schools System. Of the four middle schools selected, two were classified as high socio-economic status (SES) and two as low SES. The students, in those schools who were chosen to respond to this questionnaire, were randomly selected. Questionnaires were taken to the four middle schools to be administered by school personnel. All null hypotheses were answered from the data gathered. All twelve hypotheses were tested utilizing Pearson's Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient to determine the correlation between the variables. There were two significant correlations found between the variables. There were significant correlations between family structures and student academic achievement in mathematics. ANOVA was also used to compare the effects of societal influences on student academic achievement in reading and mathematics on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Data from the ANOVA revealed that there was a significant difference in school and academic achievement in reading. The results implied that school administrators address the significant correlation between family structures and student academic achievement in reading and mathematics. The researcher recommended that school personnel and family join forces to promote positive values and academic achievement.

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