Title page for ETD etd-01152010-145510

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Gaspard, Mae Blanchard
URN etd-01152010-145510
Title The Influence of Self-Esteem and Selected Demographic Characteristics on the Academic Achievement of Freshman Students in the College of Agriculture at a Research-Extensive University
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Resource Education Workforce Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Burnett, Michael F. Committee Chair
Johnson, Earl C. Committee Member
Johnson, Geraldine H. Committee Member
Verma,Satish Committee Member
Crick, Nathan Dean's Representative
  • academic achievement
  • self-esteem
  • agriculture
  • college freshmen
Date of Defense 2009-12-14
Availability unrestricted

The primary purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship existed between self-esteem and academic achievement among students at the freshman level in the College of Agriculture at a Research-Extensive University in the Southern Region of the United States.

The sample of the study was all students at one selected Research-Extensive University enrolled in the Introduction to Agriculture course which was a requirement for agriculture students at the freshman level. Three instruments were used for data collection. The Adult Form of the Coopersmith Inventory was administered at two data collection points at the beginning and end of the first semester of college enrollment. A researcher-designed questionnaire was used to collect demographic information. A third instrument was a recording form on which data from the Office of the University Registrar were downloaded and stored.

No significant relationship was found between self-esteem at the beginning of the first semester of college and the first semester grade point average of students at the freshman level. Using multiple regression analysis, a significant model was identified which explained 9.9% of the variance in academic achievement. The variable that had the greatest impact on academic achievement was membership in a departmental student organization. The variables whether or not the father completed a graduate degree, membership in service organizations, and partici-pation in sports also entered the model. Multiple regression analysis was also used to identify a significant model that explained 17.3% of the variance in self-esteem at the end of the first semester of college enrollment. The variable with the greatest impact on self-esteem was age. Other variables which contributed significantly were membership in social sororities/fraternities, membership in religious organizations, Hispanic Race, African American Race, and Caucasian Race.

The researcher concluded that there was no relationship between academic achievement and self-esteem. The researcher recommended the development of an instrument to measure self-attitudes regarding constructs specific to the college student. This instrument would serve the function of measuring self-esteem for this intermittent stage in the lives of many young people.

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