A QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF RESILIENCY AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AMONG MULTIRACIAL STUDENTS IN URBAN HIGH SCHOOLS

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The purpose of this study is to explore the six attributes of the Resiliency for Academic Success framework and the possible relationship to academic achievement among urban high school students with …

The purpose of this study is to explore the six attributes of the Resiliency for Academic Success framework and the possible relationship to academic achievement among urban high school students with a focus on multiracial students. Trueba identified six resiliency traits for academic success in his framework: intelligent planning in the pursuit of major goals, delaying gratification for the sake of future rewards, willingness to learn a new language and culture, ability to appreciate and use family support during crises, ability to use multiple personal identities in the process of communicating with others, loyalty to school and family and the wisdom to pursue academic excellence with the love and support of teachers and parents, and spiritual strength based on religious, cultural, and linguistic values. Academic achievement was measured by reading and math scores, which are mandatory assessments required for graduation in the state of Illinois. The study used quantitative research analyses: descriptive statistics, correlation, ANOVA, and regression. The sample included 521 students from five diverse high schools, but only 377 students from the five high schools had PSAE reading and math scores to correspond with completed surveys. The findings demonstrated that the multiracial students were not significantly different than other
racial groups (Caucasian, African-Americans, Hispanics, and multiracial) in academic achievement. Multiracial students (N=85) in the study had similar levels with mean and standard deviation scores to Caucasian students (n=136). ANOVA demonstrated that differences existed between groups in PSAE reading, but no significant differences existed between racial groups in PSAE math. The regression analyses showed that all students (N=377) had the same three Resiliency for Academic Success factors (overall resiliency average, Spiritual strength, and Willingness to learn a new language and culture) that were predictive in reading and math PSAE. In addition, all students (N=377) showed that the Resiliency for Academic Success characteristic of Ability to use family support during crises was predictive of math PSAE scores.


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  • 1. B Y B R E T T A . B U R T O N A QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF RESILIENCY AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AMONG MULTIRACIAL STUDENTS IN URBAN HIGH SCHOOLS A DISSERTATION DEFENSE APRIL 7, 2014
  • 2. COMMITTEE MEMBERS • Dissertation Chair: Dr. Teresa Wasonga Dissertation Committee: Dr. Christine Rienstra-Kiracofe Dr. Carolyn Vander Schee
  • 3. INTRODUCTION • Relevance of the research • Education Leadership • School Improvement in Urban High Schools • PSAE in the state of Illinois • Trueba’s (2002) Resiliency for Academic Success • Background of research • 6 Components
  • 4. TRUEBA’S FRAMEWORK 1. Intelligent Planning in the pursuit of major goals, delaying gratification for the sake of future rewards 2. Willingness to Learn a New Language and Culture 3. Ability to Use Multiple Personal Identities in the process of communicating with others 4. Ability to appreciate and use family support during crises 6. Spiritual Strength based on religious, cultural, and linguistic values 5. Loyalty to school and family and the wisdom to pursue academic excellence with the love and support of teachers and parents Resiliency for Academic Success Assisted performance and ZPD in the discovery of the new self through resiliency
  • 5. WHAT BROUGHT ME TO EXPLORE THIS TOPIC? • Purpose of the Study: • The purpose of this study was to explore the six attributes of the Resiliency for Academic Success Framework (Trueba, 2002) and their relationship to academic achievement among urban high school students, with a focus on these outcomes for multiracial students.
  • 6. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM • The rise in racial diversity and achievement gap (NCLB) in public schools has caused the need for school personnel to meet the academic demands of students from different racial backgrounds, including multiracial students. • Resiliency researchers have investigated the impact of protective factors on the academic achievement of minority students, and the results have varied among them (Benard, 1991; Smith & Carlson, 1997; Trueba, 2002; Wasonga, 2004).
  • 7. RESEARCH QUESTIONS • RQ1: What are the levels of Resiliency for Academic Success factors and academic achievement (PSAE Scores in Reading and Math) among Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics, and multiracial urban high school students? • RQ2: What is the relationship between Resiliency for Academic Success factors and academic achievement (PSAE Scores in Reading and Math) among Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics, and multiracial urban high school students? • RQ3: Are there differences in Resiliency for Academic Success factors and academic achievement (PSAE Scores in Reading and Math) among Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, and Multiracial urban high school students ? • RQ4: What Resiliency for Academic Success factors predict academic achievement among urban high school students in each of the four racial groups (Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, and multiracial)? •
  • 8. LITERATURE REVIEW Achievement Gap: Factors Resiliency for Academic Success: Dr. Henry Trueba Student Racial Groups in Urban High Schools with a focus on multiracial students
  • 9. RESEARCH DESIGN • Quantitative Study • Descriptive statistics, Correlation, ANOVA, and Regression • Pilot Study-58 urban high school students • Survey Instrument • 5 urban high schools (A,B,C,D, and E) • PSAE student scores (Reading and Math)
  • 10. METHODOLOGY • Survey/Questionnaire- Likert Scale 1-4 • 2 Unit School Districts in Urban Locations • 5 Urban High Schools • Diverse Student Population
  • 11. DEMOGRAPHICS OF SAMPLE FROM ALL FIVE HIGH SCHOOLS Number of Respondents Percent Total population 377 100 Gender Female 203 54 Male 174 46 Race – self-reported Caucasian 136 36 African-American 31 8 Asian/Pacific Islander 18 5 Hispanic/Latino 82 22 2 or more races 85 23 Native-American 2 .004
  • 12. STUDENT MULTIRACIAL COMBINATIONS Multiracial Student Combinations Combinations Total Caucasian and Hispanic/Latino 32 Caucasian and African-American 25 Caucasian and Native American 12 Caucasian and Asian 8 African-American and Asian 3 3 Groups or more 8
  • 13. STUDENT DEMOGRAPHICS AND PSAE SCORES FOR SCHOOLS INCLUDED IN THE SAMPLE • • Urban High School, Grades 9-12 School A School B School C School D School E Total Enrollment, Grades 9-12 1,884 2,292 1,285 2031 2,411 Percent Student Demographics White 54.3 67.8 42.0 62.0 61.0 Black 14.5 7.4 17.6 9.7 9.6 Latino 12.3 18.2 28.8 16.7 24.4 Asian 15.2 3.2 8.2 7.5 19.0 Multiracial 3.3 3.4 3.3 3.5 3.6 Native-American 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 Met Standard in Reading All 73.6 66.2 58.2 70.5 61.9 White 84.3 71.2 64.5 74.5 67.5 Black 36.1 34.0 46.7 35.0 34.0 Latino 45.6 58.2 53.1 50.0 60.4 Asian 82.0 59.0 65.0 89.0 64.0 Multiracial NA 53.0 70.0 64.0 75.0 Native-American NA NA NA NA NA Students with Disabilities 36.4 22.0 19.0 18.0 37.0 Economically Disadvantaged 42.1 54.2 42.6 44.0 50.0 Met Standard in Math All 74.3 68.0 60.9 72.2 65.0 White 83.7 74.5 66.7 75.7 69.5 Black 30.6 40.0 48.9 35.0 41.5 Latino 47.4 54.5 53.1 56.0 62.3 Asian 91.0 65.0 70.0 85.0 82.0 Multiracial NA 53.0 70.0 46.0 65.0 Native-American NA NA NA NA NA Students with Disabilities 28.8 48.9 13.0 12.0 37.0 Economically Disadvantaged 42.1 49.2 51.1 38.0 50.0 Overall Graduation Rate 82.0 99.1 80.0 99.1 80.0
  • 14. CONCLUSION- RESILIENCY AND ACHIEVEMENT LEVELS & REGRESSION CAUCASIANS • Finding: This study shows that Caucasian students had high levels in intelligent planning in the pursuit of major life goals while delaying gratification. Intelligent planning also predicted Caucasian students’ reading performance. • Research Supporting Finding: • Duckworth and Seligman’s (2005) longitudinal study analyzing the predicative measure of self-discipline and academic achievement with adolescent students . • These self-discipline factors correlated with higher standardized test scores and higher grade point averages and determined that students with higher levels of self-discipline were more likely to focus on academic achievement and/or limit or delay gratification by not working at a minimum wage job or viewing substantial hours of television.
  • 15. CONCLUSION-RESILIENCY AND ACHIEVEMENT LEVELS AFRICAN-AMERICANS • Finding: The findings in this research showed that African-American students demonstrated high levels of resiliency, in comparison to the other racial groups, with Intelligent Planning in the pursuit of major goals, Loyalty to school and family, Spiritual strength, and overall resiliency; however, the higher mean levels of resiliency did not transfer to academic achievement. • Research supporting finding: • Sahgal and Smith (2009) found that 87 percent of African-Americans belong to a religious group and 53 percent attend church at least once a week and pray once or more a day. • Intelligent planning among African-American students in this sample parallels research completed by Wasonga & Christman (2003) on resiliency and academic achievement among African-American students in an urban setting. • Shernoff and Schmidt (2007)
  • 16. CONCLUSION-RESILIENCY AND ACHIEVEMENT LEVELS MULTIRACIAL STUDENTS • Finding: Multiracial students were more similar on the six Resiliency for Academic Success factors and PSAE reading and math scores when compared to Caucasians, but were not significantly different from Hispanic/Latino and African-American students. The findings are indicative of having a multiracial student sample that was majority part Caucasian at 67%, which means that although multiracial students in the research identified as multiracial, their results were closer to Caucasian students results in Resiliency for Academic Success and academic achievement than to any other racial group. • Research supporting finding: • Shih & Sanchez, (2009) • Binning, Unzueta, Huo, and Molina (2009) • The findings from this study indicated multiracial students demonstrated levels of resiliency and academic achievement that were more similar to Caucasian students.
  • 17. CONCLUSION-RESILIENCY AND ACHIEVEMENT LEVELS HISPANIC/LATINO STUDENTS • Finding: Hispanic/Latino students had the highest mean score in willingness to learn a new language and culture and ability to use multiple personal identities. • Research supporting Finding: These findings parallel Trueba’s (2002) research that found Hispanic/Latino students had to overcome challenges such as learning a different language and associating with other students from different racial and ethnic groups. The Hispanic/Latino students in this study had high levels of ability to use multiple personal identities in comparison to Caucasian and African-American students, which may help Hispanic/Latinos overcome challenges by developing different identities (Wasonga, 2004). However, Hispanic/Latino students’ ability to use multiple personal identities did not affect their academic achievement.
  • 18. CONCLUSION- RESILIENCY AND ACHIEVEMENT LEVELS & REGRESSION OVERALL STUDENTS • Finding: Willingness to learn a new language and culture predicted math achievement as measured by PSAE for all students (F7, 370, p < 0.05) & spiritual strength predicted math achievement as measured by PSAE for all students (F7, 370, p < 0.05). • Research supporting Finding: • Ferrer’s Study (2012) study of African-American and Hispanic/Latino High school students. • Regnerus’s (2006) study of urban high school students from all racial groups. Regnerus examined the relationship between church attendance and religious values and math achievement scores. The results of the study showed that a positive correlation (r=.301; p < .001) existed among urban high school students between religious involvement/church attendance and reading and math achievement. In addition, Regnerus found that religious involvement predicted reading and math achievement with urban high school students. .
  • 19. CONCLUSION-RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RESILIENCY AND ACHIEVEMENT CAUCASIANS • Finding: Caucasian students had positive correlations between PSAE mathematics and reading and intelligent planning in the pursuit of major life goals, delaying gratification (r=.197, p=0.05) (r= .184, p= 0.05). • Research supporting Finding: • Benard found that resilient children aspired to be something great, established high educational goals by remaining motivated to achieve academically, and were persistent in their pursuit of a good life. • Benard’s findings relate to Trueba’s (2002) research pertaining to intelligent planning that when students forecast their future by pursuit of a goal, they are more inclined to resist immediate gratification because it may hinder the pursuit of long-term gratification with goals.
  • 20. CONCLUSION-RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RESILIENCY AND ACHIEVEMENT AFRICAN-AMERICANS • Finding: African-American students in this study had a positive correlation between intelligent planning and PSAE reading (r=.504, p=0.05). • Research supporting Finding: • Wasonga’s (2004) Research • Powell and Arriola’s (2003) Research • The current research discovered that African-Americans had lower PSAE math and reading scores than other student racial groups, although their achievement scores met state benchmarks.
  • 21. CONCLUSION- RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RESILIENCY AND ACHIEVEMENT HISPANIC/LATINOS • Finding: Hispanic/Latino (n=82) students did not show any correlations between Resiliency for Academic Success factors and PSAE reading and math. • Research supporting Finding: This finding is aligned to Trueba’s (2002) research with Hispanic/ Latino students that concluded students may possess resiliency factors but the factors do not necessarily increase academic achievement.
  • 22. CONCLUSION-RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RESILIENCY AND ACHIEVEMENT MULTIRACIAL • Finding: Significant positive linear relationships were found between multiracial students’ PSAE mathematics scores and two of the Resiliency for Academic Success factors: 1) ability to use family support during crises (r=.308, p=0.05); and 2) loyalty to family/school (r=.324, p=0.01). • In addition, a significant positive linear relationship was found between multiracial students’ PSAE scores in reading and three of the Resiliency for Academic Success factors: 1) willingness to learn a new language and culture (r= .211, p= 0.05) and 2) ability to use family support during crises (r=.277, p=0.05) and loyalty to family school and the wisdom to pursue academic excellence (r=.326, p=0.05). • Research supporting finding: . Trueba (2002) elaborates on the family support concept by claiming that family support for students provides a great source of stability and strength. Students learn to appreciate their family and share things in their life that are positive as well as negative. Furthermore, students learn not only to receive help from their family, but they learn to help family members in need as well. Although correlations were present among multiracial students, the factors did not impact their PSAE reading and math achievement, it’s relational.
  • 23. CONCLUSION-DIFFERENCES IN RESILIENCY AND ACHIEVEMENT ACROSS RACIAL GROUPS ALL STUDENTS Findings (Differences): • Caucasians and Hispanics in Willingness to Learn a New Culture and Language and Ability to use Multiple personal Identities • African-Americans and Hispanic/Latino differences with Ability to Use Multiple Personal Identities and Willingness to Learn a New Language and Culture • Caucasians and African-American differences with Ability to Use Multiple Personal Identities and Spiritual Strength • The results show that Caucasian students (N=136) had more differences than other student racial groups on the Resiliency for Academic Success factors. • ANOVA results show that overall multiracial students (N=85) were not significantly different than Caucasians (N=136), • Research supporting finding: • Dr. Ferrer’s Study • Trueba’s Study (2002)
  • 24. IMPLICATIONS FOR ALL STUDENT RACIAL GROUPS • 1. A significant difference in the study was in PSAE reading between Caucasians and Hispanic/Latinos. • 2. The second important finding suggests that Resiliency for Academic Success factors did not significantly increase academic achievement, however, all student racial groups met standards in PSAE Reading and Math. • 3. Intelligent planning for the sake of future rewards and delaying gratification predicted PSAE reading achievement for only Caucasian students, demonstrating that these students have acquired the necessary skills in developing an academic plan and educational goals. • 4. Multiracial students were more similar on the six Resiliency for Academic Success factors and PSAE reading and math scores when compared to Caucasians students. Shih and Sanchez state there is a need for school systems to fully understand multiracial communities. • 5. This study revealed that Resiliency for Academic Success factors did not transfer to academic achievement for this particular student population which parallels Trueba’s (2002) study with Hispanic/Latino students. • 6. As an educational leader we know that resiliency attributes are beneficial to students and the school culture, which means public schools may want to embed the teaching of resiliency and/or foster resiliency into a high school curriculum.
  • 25. IMPLICATIONS FOR MULTIRACIAL STUDENTS • 1. The current findings are consistent with the more recent literature focused on the positive or neutral outcomes of being multiracial (Shih & Sanchez, 2009). i.e.// flexibility • 2. Binning, Unzueta, Huo, and Molina (2009) found in their research on multiracial adolescents that multiracial students electing to identify with multiple racial groups instead of one racial group are more apt to experience “positive outcomes, social engagement, and psychological wellbeing” (p. 44). (Correlation with ability to use family support during crises and PSAE Read and Math achievement). • 3. Based on the multiracial student sample in this research, where 67% of the multiracial student population was part Caucasian, the results are rational.
  • 26. IMPLICATIONS FOR MULTIRACIAL STUDENTS MAP Shih & Sanchez (2009) •Multiracial people have more flexible understandings of race and race relations •Multiracial identity is overlapping and compatible, higher well being Rockquemore, Brunsma, & Delgado (2009) •Multiracial in media has helped legitimize mixed racial identity •Both feet in both groups so that one has the ability to hold, merge, and respect multiple racial groups Binning, Unzueta, Huo, and Molina (2009) •Study found that multiracial adolescents who identify proudly as multiracial fare as well as – or better than kids who identify with a single group. •Multiracials identify with multiple groups are better able to navigate homogenous and heterogeneous settings than those multiracials that identify with one group
  • 27. SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY • 1. Perform a mixed methods design study (Quantitative and Qualitative) • 2. Study a larger high school student population from students located in inner city, magnet, charter, or parochial schools • 3. Examine student populations in other geographic regions in the United States such as Los Angeles, California; New York City, New York; Miami, Florida; and Minneapolis, Minnesota. • 4. Examine resiliency among multiracial students with various multiracial blends • 5. Control for Socioeconomic status