Date of Award

Summer 2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Advisor(s)

Patricia Warner

Tammy Gilligan

Kenneth Barron

Abstract

Current commentary on population growth in the United States more often than not includes phrases such as, "the increasing minority population”. While the composition of our overall population is evolving and changing, so does the makeup of our schools. As seen through the current state of the achievement gap, differences between cultures, ethnicities, and races are growing in relevance as we work to address educational shortcomings. The current study aims to investigate the relationship between acculturation status, achievement goal orientation, and self-efficacy. A sampling of 98 10th grade students was taken from a large and diverse school district in the Pacific Northwest. Despite diverse population statistics, the sample taken for this study was fairly homogenous, likely impacting the results. Findings indicated that there were weak and non-significant correlations between achievement goal orientation and acculturation status as well as between acculturation status and general academic self-efficacy. A weak, yet significant, positive correlation was seen between approach-type goal orientations and general academic self-efficacy. These results seem to indicate that integration into the mainstream culture of the United States does not have any relationship with a students' achievement goal orientation or general academic self-efficacy. The significant correlation between approach-type goal orientations and self-efficacy may be indicative of developmental effects on goal orientation or the manifestation of adaptive educational behaviors. Interventions to increase students' identification with approach-type goal orientations may prove to be beneficial in increasing overall achievement. Further implications and future directions of this research are discussed.

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Psychology Commons

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