Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Gustavo Gregorutti

Second Advisor

Jay Brand

Third Advisor

Bordes Saturne



The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of student’s self-discipline and parental involvement on academic performance. The study sought to determine whether student’s self-discipline and parental involvement in student’s academic activities have any impact on student’s Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) scores or on their GPA.


This is a quantitative, cross-sectional study in which multiple regressions were used to investigate the relationship(s) between student self-discipline and parental involvement with student’s ITBS scores and GPA. Due to challenges of collecting sufficient data, the study was done in two phases: a preliminary study involving 16 students in schools in the Texas Conference of the Seventh day-Adventists and later a primary study which utilized archived data from the CognitiveGenesis (CG) study. The data used in the primary study was collected from all students in Seventh-day Adventist schools in the North American Division (NAD), in grades 3-9 and 11 (Thayer & Kido, 2012). The present study utilized data from 5,144 grades 6 and 7 students. In order to collect data for the preliminary study, teachers responded to Self-Control Rating Scale (SCRS) questionnaire to rate their students’ level of self-discipline (Kendall & Wilcox, 1979). Additionally, parents responded to Parent And School Survey (PASS), an instrument designed to measure parental involvement in their children’s education (Ringenberg, Funk, Mullen, Wilford & Kramer, 2005).


Results indicated that student’s self-discipline and parental involvement are significantly correlated with student’s ITBS scores and GPA. Yet, some variables showed stronger correlation with the dependent variables than others. Student self-discipline had a higher correlation with GPA than ITBS scores. On the other hand, parental involvement showed a higher correlation with ITBS than GPA. Of all the scales of self-discipline, student’s diligence presented the highest correlation with ITBS scores while parenting had the strongest correlation with ITBS scores among all the parental involvement scales.

Student’s diligence, parenting and volunteering have a significant positive correlation with ITBS at p < .001 each. However, doing chores and distractions were negatively correlated with ITBS.


The findings of this study revealed that student self-discipline and parental involvement are crucial factors in academic performance. Among the subscales of selfdiscipline, diligence showed the highest positive correlation with academic performance while distractions showed the highest negative correlation with academic performance. Parental involvement, too, was highly correlated with GPA and ITBS performance. Combined, student self-discipline and parental involvement revealed significant impact on academic performance. Boys showed to be more prone to distractions, hence portraying less self-discipline than girls. Findings indicated that in order to improve GPA and ITBS performance, parents need to participate actively in the academic activities of their children including communicating with the school, parenting, volunteering, decision making, facilitating learning at home, and collaborating with the community to put resources together to support the school.

Subject Area

Academic achievement; Education, Elementary--Parent participation; Seventh-day Adventist elementary schools--Research; School children--Attitudes


Included in

Education Commons