PV & SRI 1


Running head: HABITS OF STUDENT EFFECTIVENESS




               The Private Victory and the Student Readines...
PV & SRI 2


                                              Abstract

This study tested the validity and reliability of the...
PV & SRI 3


       Do the components of life effectiveness translate into success in the college classroom?

The clear br...
PV & SRI 4


Academic Self-Confidence (ASC)

          As defined by Le et al. (2005), ASC is “the extent to which student...
PV & SRI 5


Goal Striving (GS)

       The definition of GS according to Le et al. (2005) is “the extent to which student...
PV & SRI 6


were chosen. As defined by Covey (1989), a habit is:

       the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire...
PV & SRI 7


Begin with the End in Mind (H2)

       According to Covey (1989), high scorers in H2 use the end of their li...
PV & SRI 8


                                              Methods

Participants

       In total, 230 college students fr...
PV & SRI 9


(H2), and Put First Things First (H3). PV items were developed using Covey's (1989) diction,

themes, definit...
PV & SRI 10


the tool's website. Students were contacted in person, by email, and through social networking

websites. An...
PV & SRI 11


                                              Results

        Table 1 shows the number of items, standard d...
PV & SRI 12


GD. All correlations are significant p < .01.

Table 2

Intercorrelations of the SRI subscales from this stu...
PV & SRI 13


GD               .40              .63              .69              –

GS               .49              .63...
PV & SRI 14


SRI                  .45                 .44                  .60                 .59

Note. N = 228. All co...
PV & SRI 15


GD                             .06                             .30**

GS                             .06    ...
PV & SRI 16


                                             Discussion

       This study establishes a baseline for the co...
PV & SRI 17


One major limitation was the small pool of SRI questions from which to choose from. While

unfortunate, the ...
PV & SRI 18


                                            References

ACT, Inc. (2008, December). SRI User's Guide. Retrie...
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The Private Victory and the Student Readiness Inventory: Three Habits of Student Effectiveness

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This study tested the validity and reliability of the Private Victory (PV) using items from 5 of subscales of the Student Readiness Inventory (SRI). The sample consisted of 230 college students from a small liberal arts college. After normalizing and removing inconsistent items, the internal consistency of the three PV subscales were (α = .62, .72, and .73). The SRI items displayed an internal consistency of (α = .75). The SRI shared significant correlations with all 3 PV subscales (r = .44, .45, and .66, p < .01) and college GPA (r = .28, p < .01). These results establish a baseline for the construct validity of the PV and indicate the need to refine its subscales.

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The Private Victory and the Student Readiness Inventory: Three Habits of Student Effectiveness

  1. 1. PV & SRI 1 Running head: HABITS OF STUDENT EFFECTIVENESS The Private Victory and the Student Readiness Inventory Sean Weigold Ferguson Rollins College
  2. 2. PV & SRI 2 Abstract This study tested the validity and reliability of the Private Victory (PV) using items from 5 of subscales of the Student Readiness Inventory (SRI). The sample consisted of 230 college students from a small liberal arts college. After normalizing and removing inconsistent items, the internal consistency of the three PV subscales were (α = .62, .72, and .73). The SRI items displayed an internal consistency of (α = .75). The SRI shared significant correlations with all 3 PV subscales (r = .44, .45, and .66, p < .01) and college GPA (r = .28, p < .01). These results establish a baseline for the construct validity of the PV and indicate the need to refine its subscales.
  3. 3. PV & SRI 3 Do the components of life effectiveness translate into success in the college classroom? The clear bridge between the two resides in student psychosocial factors (PSF)s; specifically those found to have incremental validity in predicting college performance. Certainly high school grades and standardized test scores can validly predict outcomes, but even when combined they only account for 25% of the variance in a college student's first-year GPA (ACT, 1997; Boldt, 1986; Mathiasen, 1984; Mouw & Khanna, 1993; as cited by Robbins et al., 2004). The ability of these factors to predict performance declines over time illustrating the need for more sustainable predictors. The Student Readiness Inventory Robbins et al. (2004) saw the clear need to look beyond traditional predictors. In a meta- analysis of 108 studies measuring college success and PSF factors, researchers established the foundation for what would become the Student Readiness Inventory (SRI). Based on the research, ten psychosocial and study skills constructs: achievement motivation, academic goals, institutional commitment, perceived social support, social involvement, academic self-efficacy, general self-concept, academic related skills, and contextual influences. Of these, academic self- efficacy, achievement motivation, and academic goals were shown to incrementally predict college GPA after controlling for more traditional predictors. Le et al. (2005) used the findings of this study to create the SRI which is composed of ten slightly different constructs: general determination, academic discipline, goal striving, commitment to college, study skills, communication skills, social activity, social connection, academic self-confidence, and emotional control. In a study of over 14,000 students, Robbins et al. (2005) found significant correlations between college GPA and academic discipline, academic self-confidence, and commitment to college. For the purposes of this study, five relevant constructs were chosen.
  4. 4. PV & SRI 4 Academic Self-Confidence (ASC) As defined by Le et al. (2005), ASC is “the extent to which students are confident that they can perform well in school.” An adaptation of the earlier construct academic self-efficacy, ASC correlates significantly with academic discipline (AD), goal striving (GS), and commitment to college (CC). Of the SRI constructs, it is the most highly correlated with ACT score and high school GPA. Commitment to College (CC) From Le et al. (2005), “the extent to which students appreciate the values of education and are committed to attaining the college degree.” Similar to goal focus from Robbins et al. (2004), CC shares significant correlations with ASC, AD, GS, and communication skills. CC is also correlated with gender as females tend to score higher than men on the scale. Additionally, it shows a positive correlation with high school GPA. Academic Discipline (AD) AD is defined by Le et al. (2005) as “the extent to which students value schoolwork and approach school-related tasks.” Females tend to score higher on the AD scale than do males. High school GPA and AD are positively correlated. AD shares positive correlations with GD, GS, and study skills. General Determination (GD) Le et al. defines GD as “the extent to which students are dutiful, careful, and dependable.” Compared with the the findings of Robbins et al. (2004), GD contains some of the elements of conscientiousness. GD correlates positively with AD, GS, CC, and communication skills.
  5. 5. PV & SRI 5 Goal Striving (GS) The definition of GS according to Le et al. (2005) is “the extent to which student (a) set important goals, (b) make efforts to achieve the goals, and (c) are confident about their abilities to succeed.” GS correlates directly with GD, AD, CC, study skills, and communication skills. GS contains elements of the original scales of conscientiousness and goal focus. The Private Victory (PV) The findings of the aforementioned researchers are of great value, but they are specific to the academic environment. To seek out similar constructs that apply universally requires expanding beyond the traditional psychological literature. Interestingly enough, it is from the personal development industry that one finds a construct that addresses sustainable life effectiveness. In one of the bestselling personal development books of all time, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey (1989) defines effectiveness: The Seven Habits are habits of effectiveness. Because they are based on principles, they bring the maximum long-term beneficial results possible. They become the basis of a person's character creating an empowering center of correct maps from which an individual can effectively solve problems, maximize opportunities, and continually learn and integrate other principles in an upward spiral of growth. The difference between effectiveness and efficiency is that the latter over-emphasizes production and neglects production capacity. Balancing the investment of resources into both factors is the essence of effectiveness. This definition of effectiveness is useful in that it focuses on long-term consequences. The ability to make predictions beyond a one semester time frame is extremely valuable. For the purposes of this study, the three habits most relevant to the academic environment
  6. 6. PV & SRI 6 were chosen. As defined by Covey (1989), a habit is: the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire. Knowledge is the theoretical paradigm, the what to do and the why. Skill is the how to do. And desire is the motivation, the want to do. In order to make something a habit in our lives, we have to have all three. The first three habits, Be Proactive (H1), Begin with the End in Mind (H2), and Put First Things First (H3) compose the Private Victory (PV). The PV construct is characterized by independence, self-mastery, inner-direction, self-reliance, and self-confidence. Low PV indicates one has a high degree of dependence on others, while those high on the PV scale display a high degree of inner guidance and independence. Be Proactive (H1) H1 is a measure of one's proactivity. High scorers are considered proactive while low scorers are termed reactive. Not to be confused with merely taking initiative, being proactive means being responsible for our own lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We can subordinate feelings to values. We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling (Covey, 1989). Those considered reactive are often influenced by their environment, both social and physical. Their emotions and subsequent actions are dependent on external stimuli. H1 is strongly related to the the self-efficacy and locus of control constructs. We expect it to contain elements of ASC, GD, and GS.
  7. 7. PV & SRI 7 Begin with the End in Mind (H2) According to Covey (1989), high scorers in H2 use the end of their life as a reference to examine their behavior. They have a clear understanding of their life vision and most important values, and follow a mission statement derived from those elements. This mission statement or creed is the foundation for their decisions. Those high in H2 center their lives on principles, defined by Covey (1989) as self-evident natural laws that govern human behavior. It is expected that H2 contains elements of CC, GD, and GS. Put First Things First (H3) As defined by Covey (1989), H3 is “the fulfillment, the actualization, the natural emergence of Habits 1 and 2. It's the exercise of independent will toward becoming principle- centered. It's the day-in, day-out, moment-by-moment doing it.” H3 centers around the concept of self-management, or the implementation of H1 and H2. Self-management is defined by Covey (1989) as “the ability to make decisions and choices and to act in accordance with them. It is the ability to act rather than to be acted upon, to proactive carry out the program we have developed.” We expect H3 to contain elements of AD, GD, and GS.
  8. 8. PV & SRI 8 Methods Participants In total, 230 college students from a small, 4-year liberal arts secondary education institution volunteered to participate in this study. To meet these criteria, participants were removed (n = 50) from the sample if they were not college students, not attending the institution being studied, or did not complete at least 10% of the SRI and PV. Participants' ages ranged from 18 to 61, with a mean age of 23.7 years (SD = 8.7 years; median = 21 years). The sample was 70% female. Only 9 students did not report their high school grade point average (GPA1). Students' GPA1 ranged from 0.90 to 4.00 with a mean of 3.49 (SD = .48; median = 3.65). In total, 187 students reported their SAT score. Scores ranged from 660 to 1600 with a mean of 1255 (SD = 160; median = 1269). Additionally, 104 students reported their ACT score which ranged from 12.0 to 36.0 with a mean of 27.5 (SD = 4.5; Median = 28.0) Only 8 students did not report their college GPA (GPA2). GPA2 ranged from 1.60 to 4.00 with a mean of 3.40 (SD = .46; median = 3.47). The mean number of semesters completed by students in this sample was 4.6 (SD = 2.9), and the mean number of college credits obtained was 79.4 (SD = 43.4). The most commonly listed student majors were psychology (n = 35), economics (n = 20), English (n = 19), and international relations (n = 19). A student major index was created allowing students to be sorted into groups based on their focus on study. Groups were business (n = 67), arts and language (n = 60), social sciences (n = 64), physical sciences (n = 34), and other or no answer (n = 5). Measures The Private Victory (PV) Assessment contains 30 items and assesses the degree of integration of Covey's (1989) first three habits: Be Proactive (H1), Begin with the End in Mind
  9. 9. PV & SRI 9 (H2), and Put First Things First (H3). PV items were developed using Covey's (1989) diction, themes, definitions, and examples. Items are scored using a 7-point scale with anchors of Nothing like me (1), and Exactly like me (7). Of the 30 items, 15 are reverse-scored. H1, H2, and H3 each initially contained 10 items before removing 3, 2, and 0 respectively to increase internal consistency. The mean of the remaining items within each subscale equates to a participant's score on that habit's construct. The mean of H1, H2, and H3 equates to one's PV score. According to Le et al. (as cited by Peterson et al., 2006), The Student Readiness Inventory (SRI) is a 108-item inventory comprising 10 scales that measure students' academic-related personality facets and skills. The inventory was designed to assist postsecondary institutions in identifying and intervening with students at risk for drop out or poor performance. Items are scored using a 6-point, Likert scale that ranges from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Scales range from 10 to 12 items and have demonstrated moderate to high internal consistency reliabilities (alpha range = .81 to .87; median = .84), as well as incremental validity over demographic, institutional, and standardized achievement variables. Of the 10 SRI scales, the five showing the strongest (r ≥ .25) correlations with GPA2 were chosen for this study. The chosen scales were academic self-confidence (ASC), commitment to college (CC), academic discipline (AD), general determination (GD), and goal striving (GS). As the SRI in its entirety was unavailable for use, the mean of two sample questions found in the ACT's (2008) SRI User's Guide was used to represent each scale. The mean of all five scales was used to represent the SRI. Procedure The assessment was created using an online survey research tool. It was then hosted on
  10. 10. PV & SRI 10 the tool's website. Students were contacted in person, by email, and through social networking websites. An informed consent form was provided at the beginning of the online assessment assuring participants that their responses would remain confidential. Additionally, it informed participants of the expected time commitment (10 minutes), and allowed them to input their email address to receive the results of the study. The contact information of the primary researcher and the Chair of the Committee for Protection of Human Participants was listed at the bottom of the form. After agreeing to the terms of the study, participants were taken to a form to input their sex and age. Participants then completed the PV assessment. This was followed by a form collecting GPA1, SAT score, and ACT score. At the bottom of this form, participants were asked if they were currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. Those that indicated they were not were taken to the end of the assessment. Those that answered affirmatively were taken to a page containing the ten SRI questions. Upon completion, the next page asked students for their college major, college minor (or second major), number of semesters completed, number of credits obtained, and GPA2. This page included a link to students' academic institution's website, and encouraged students to look up this information so as to give an accurate response. The next and final page of the assessment thanked the participant and provided the contact information of the primary researcher. In this assessment, only two questions were required for the participant to continue moving forward. These were the participant's agreement to the informed consent form and their current college enrollment status.
  11. 11. PV & SRI 11 Results Table 1 shows the number of items, standard deviation, and internal consistency of the SRI, the PV, and the subscales of both. The standard deviations and alphas showed no similarity to the findings of Peterson et al. (2006). This was expected as the subscales of the full SRI each contain ten to twelve questions rather than two, influencing both the alphas and standard deviations. Of the PV subscales, H1 was found to have a relatively low alpha even after removing three items indicating that the construct requires revision. Table 1 Descriptive statistics and Cronbach's coefficient alpha of the SRI, the PV, and their subscales Scale N SD α SRI 10 .55 .75 ASC 2 .82 .54 CC 2 .81 .42 AD 2 .78 .38 GD 2 .85 .58 GS 2 .82 .50 PV 25 .47 .85 H1 7 .55 .62 H2 8 .58 .72 H3 10 .57 .73 Table 2 shows the intercorrelations of the SRI subscales in this study. Correlations range from .19 to .47, with a median of .29. The lowest correlations exist between GS and CC, and between GS and ASC. The highest correlations exist between GS and AD, and between GS and
  12. 12. PV & SRI 12 GD. All correlations are significant p < .01. Table 2 Intercorrelations of the SRI subscales from this study Scale ASC CC AD GD GS ASC – CC .32 – AD .26 .19 – GD .26 .33 .35 – GS .21 .24 .47 .47 -- Note. N = 229. All correlations are significant (p < .01). Table 3 shows intercorrelations of the SRI subscales from Robbins et al. (2005). Correlations range from .40 to .79 with a median of .58. The lowest correlation exists between ASC and GD. The highest correlation exists between GS and GD. With the exception of CC, the correlation pattern between the two tables is roughly similar. If CC is removed, the two sets of correlations show a significant relationship (r = .77). The lower correlations in Table 2 are likely attributable to the smaller sample size and fewer SRI items in the current study. Table 3 Intercorrelations of the SRI subscales from Robbins et al. (2005) Scale ASC CC AD GD GS ASC – CC .43 – AD .44 .54 –
  13. 13. PV & SRI 13 GD .40 .63 .69 – GS .49 .63 .62 .79 -- Note. N = 14,464. All three PV subscales significantly correlated with one another (p < .01). H1 related to H2 at .52, and to H3 at .53. H2 and H3 shared a strong correlation of .62. These high intercorrelations indicate that there is cause to consider the PV as a singular construct. Table 4 features correlations between the SRI and the PV. As expected, the SRI showed a strong relationship with the PV (r = .59). Including both sets of subscales, correlations ranged from .19 (CC, H1) to .60 (SRI, H3) and all were significant (p < .01). The SRI and the subscales of the PV were strongly related (r = .45 to .60). The PV showed strong relations with the subscales of the SRI ranging from .25 (CC), to .57 (GS). The strongest relations within subscales were found in GS and H3 (r = .56), GD and H3 (r = .48), GS and H2 (r = .46), AD and H3 (r = . 44), and GS and H1 (r = .42). The weakest relationships were between H1 and CC (r = .19), and H2 and CC (r = .19). Table 4 Correlations of the SRI and subscales with the PV with subscales Scale H1 H2 H3 PV ASC .24 .24 .25 .29 CC .19 .19 .25 .25 AD .29 .29 .44 .41 GD .36 .31 .48 .45 GS .42 .46 .56 .57
  14. 14. PV & SRI 14 SRI .45 .44 .60 .59 Note. N = 228. All correlations are significant (p < .01). Participant demographics were significantly correlated with several scales. Age displayed a direct relationship with H1 (r = .20, p < .01), H2 (r = .18, p < .01), H3 (r = .14, p < .05), PV (r = .20, p < .01), and GS (r = .17, p < .05). Sex showed significant relationships with H1 and CC. An independent samples t-test confirms that on average males scored .44 points lower on CC (t = 3.9, p < .01), and .19 points higher on H1 (t = 2.4, p < .05). Several significant relationships were found between GPA2 and other demographics and scales. GPA2 shares a positive relationship with GPA1 (r = .61, p < .01), SAT score (r = .19, p < .01), and ACT score (r = .33, p < .01). Additionally, H3 shares a positive correlation with GPA2 (r = .17, p < .05). The SRI shares a positive relationship with GPA2 (r = .28, p < .01). SRI subscales AD (r = .42, p < .01), and ASC (r = .30, p < .01) show significant positive correlations with GPA2. These correlations are similar to those found by Peterson et al. (2006) as seen in Table 6. Table 5 Correlations of GPA2 with the SRI subscales from the current study compared with the correlations found by Peterson et al. (2006) GPA2 Subscale Current Studya Peterson et al. (2006)b ASC .30** .34** CC .10 .27** AD .42** .50**
  15. 15. PV & SRI 15 GD .06 .30** GS .06 .25** Note. Correlations from Peterson et al. (2006) are as listed before partialing out social desirability. a n = 222. bn = 359. *p < .05. **p < .01.
  16. 16. PV & SRI 16 Discussion This study establishes a baseline for the construct validity and internal consistency of the PV. As was expected, the SRI and the PV are clearly related (r = .59, p < .01). Furthermore, H1, H2, and H3 are all directly related to the SRI; (.45, .44, and .60) respectively. All of the SRI subscales and the PV subscales showed direct relationships with one another (range = .19 to .56, median = .29, p < .01). As expected, the SRI scales significantly correlated with GPA2. H3 also significantly correlated with GPA2, although not as strongly as the SRI. It is to be expected that the SRI would act as a better predictor of GPA2 than any of the PV constructs. The PV is a universal measure of effectiveness while the SRI's questions are tailored towards the educational environment. Additionally, Covey's (1989) assumption is that the habits are being integrated within a natural system such as a farm, within which it is impossible to over-invest resources in production and ignore production capacity. As evidenced by phenomenon such as cramming, academic outcomes can be manipulated. Future research should validate the PV against a long-term, natural construct of effectiveness. Strengths of this study include the high percentage of respondents that shared their college GPA. The sample size of this study was reasonable, and eschewing the tendency of most psychological studies, included fair degree of variability within college major. There are several limitations to this study. The sample contained a high proportion of females to males, albeit within the normal range of psychological research. The assessment did not collect data on socioeconomic or minority status. The low reliability of H1 needs to be addressed in a future study, and the other two habits should be reviewed to improve internal consistency. Also, the PV only represents three of seven habits. As they do not exist in isolation, it is worth including the other four in future research.
  17. 17. PV & SRI 17 One major limitation was the small pool of SRI questions from which to choose from. While unfortunate, the data collected suggests that the items were generally representative of the scales they were intended to measure. The next study on the PV should validate against the Big Five Inventory (BFI). Since Robbins et al. (2006) have already validated the SRI against the BFI, the present data could be used to generate hypotheses for this future study. This study would allow us to improve the reliability of the PV, and validate against a well-established psychological construct.
  18. 18. PV & SRI 18 References ACT, Inc. (2008, December). SRI User's Guide. Retrieved April 9, 2009, from http://www.act.org/sri/pdf/UserGuide.pdf Covey, S. R. (1989). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (pp. 18-179). 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020: Free Press. Le, H., Casillas, A., Robbins, S. B., & Langley, R. (2005). Motivational and skills, social, and self-management predictors of college outcomes: Constructing the Student Readiness Inventory. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 65(3), 482-508. Peterson, C. H., Casillas, A., & Robbins, S. B. (2006). The Student Readiness Inventory and the Big Five: Examining social desirability and college academic performance. Personality and Individual Differences, 41(4), 663-673. Robbins, S. B., Allen, J., Casillas, A., Peterson, C. H., & Le, H. (2005). Unraveling the differential effects of motivational and skills, social, and self-management measures from traditional predictors of college outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology. Vol. 98(3), 98(3), 598-616. Robbins, S. B., Lauver, K., Le, H., Davis, D., Langley, R., & Carlstrom, A. (2004). Do Psychosocial and Study Skill Factors Predict College Outcomes? A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin. Vol. 130(2), 130(2), 261-288.

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