Academic performance differences among male and female African American students: an urban high school study
The purpose of this study was to examine differences between male and female African American high school students in an urban setting. The participants were from a senior academy located in a Southern state. Of the 270 participants in the study, 76 were seniors, 89 were juniors, 95 were sophomores, and 10 were freshmen. The gender composition consisted of 167 females and 103 males. The system database was used to identify the cumulative grade point average for each student. Also, the students completed the School Attitude Assessment Survey-Revised (SAAS-R), which measures academic self-perception, attitudes toward teaches, attitudes toward school, goal valuation, and motivation/self-regulation. A series of independent samples t tests were performed to assess differences in male and female academic achievement levels, academic self-perception, attitudes toward teachers, attitudes, toward school, goal valuation, and motivation/self-regulation. A multiple regression analysis was performed using gender and the five variables measured by the SAAS-R as independent variables and academic achievement as the dependent variable. The major findings were as follows. Moderate positive correlations existed between (a) attitudes toward school and attitudes toward teachers, (b) academic self-perception and motivation/self-regulation, and (c) goal valuation and motivation/self-regulation. The means scores for academic self-perception and goal valuation were significantly more positive for African American females than African American males. Regression analysis revealed that academic self-perception, attitudes toward teachers, attitudes toward school, goal valuation, motivation/self-regulation were not significant predictors of academic achievement. The findings have practical implications for educators and identify areas warranting additional research.