Date of Award

1995

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Second Advisor

Lenore S. Brantley

Third Advisor

Walter Douglas

Abstract

Problem. The academic performance of Blacks has been documented as being much below that of other racial and ethnic groups (Castenell, 1984; Jordan, 1981; Lee, 1985; Mboya, 1986; Mickelson, 1990; Herrnstein & Murray, 1994; White, 1984). This study attempted to determine the relationships among personality, the development of identity status, and academic achievement among Black adolescents. -- Method. A total of 136 Black adolescent students (64 males and 72 females) was used in this study. They were in the age range of 13 to 18 years and were members of classes from integrated middle, junior high, and high schools. The Black Identity Scale (BIS) and the High School Personality Questionnaire (HSPQ) were group-administered in one sitting and the California Achievement Test (CAT) was group-administered separately in another sitting. The data were analyzed using multiple linear regression analysis and canonical correlation analysis. -- Results. 1. The overall academic achievement of Black adolescents was related significantly to abstract thinking, affirmation of the values and worth of their Blackness and origins, and being self-oriented as opposed to grouporiented, warm, sensitive, emotionally stable, and vigorous. Those who are more group-oriented rather than self-oriented tend to do well in comprehension and language expression and less well in language mechanics. 2. There was no relationship found between affinity and achievement. This is in contrast to Muhammad's (1991) finding of a negative relationship between affinity and achievement. From my findings, it appeared that the degree to which adolescents accept themselves as Black persons and accept Black people in general is not related to achievement. 3. Higher identity scores tend to be related to greater boldness, sensitivity, and vigor. The higher affinity scores were related to greater warmth, less abstract thinking, and greater vigor. The higher Extended-self scores were related to greater dominance, sensitivity, and vigor. The lower depreciation scores were related to greater boldness. The depreciation factor on the Black Identity Scale was found to have very little relationship with any of the other variables in the study. -- Conclusions. The major significant relationships found in the study were those involving personality. Personality variables were significantly related to both achievement and identity. There were, however, few significant relationships between identity and achievement.

Subject Area

Academic achievement--Psychological aspects, Personality and academic achievement, African American youth--Education.

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