Year of Publication

2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Education

Department

Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Xin Ma

Second Advisor

Dr. Kenneth M. Tyler

Abstract

Public school systems in America continue to show unequal learning outcomes for African American students. This investigation seeks to understand salient factors that are critical and essential to the process of increasing the probability of academic resilience (success) among African American students. Academic resilience is defined as "the process of an individual who has been academically successful, despite the presence of risk factors (i.e., single parent family, low future aspirations, and low teacher expectation) that normally lead to low academic performance" (Morales & Trotman, 2011, p.1). Using the baseline data from the Educational Longitudinal Study (ELS: 2002), a multilevel logistic model was developed that aimed to identify individual and collective characteristics of African American students who were academically resilient.

The multilevel logistic model revealed five statistically significant student-level variables. When comparing two African American high school students one unit apart in SES, for the student with the lower family SES, one unit increase in their academic expectation would make the student 3.21 times more likely to be academically resilient; whereas for the student with the higher SES, one unit increase in their academic expectation would make the student 2.48 times more likely to be academically resilient. Consider two African American high school students one unit apart in terms of teacher expectation, the one with higher teacher expectation was 1.67 times more likely to be academically resilient than the one with lower teacher expectation. Spending one more hour in homework per week was 1.12 times more likely to make an African American high school student academically resilient. Lastly, when comparing two African American high school students one activity apart in terms of school involvement (e.g., band, chorus, sports, or academic clubs), the student with the higher number of school involvement activities was 1.67 times more likely to be academically resilient than the student with the lower school involvement activities.

The multilevel logistic model also revealed two statistically significant school-level factors. Specifically, when comparing two high schools one unit apart in school academic climate, African American students in the high school with higher academic climate were 7.44 times more likely to be academically resilient than African American students in the high school with lower academic climate. When comparing two high schools one unit apart in school remedial efforts, African American students in the high school with lower school remediation efforts were 4.54 times more likely to be academically resilient than African American students in the high school with higher school remediation efforts.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2018.244

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