Predicting Academic Achievement of Male College Students
Spruill, Nicklaus R.
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Post-secondary academic achievement in the United States has shifted dramatically over the past 30 years in terms of gender; men are underrepresented within the ivory tower (Postsecondary participation rates by sex and race/ethnicity: 1974 - 2003 , 2005). When the intersection of race and gender is examined, enrollment gaps widen even further. Sixty-five percent of Black college enrollment is comprised of female students while Black men make up only 35%. In comparison, Asian college women outnumber Asian college men 54% to 46%, White women outnumber White men 56% to 44%, and Hispanic/Latina women outnumber Hispanic/Latino men 59% to 41% (Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac, 2009). College enrollment patterns are inextricably linked to academic success (i.e., GPA, degree attainment). Currently, more opportunities are available for African Americans and Hispanics to attend college than ever before; however, GPA and the rate of attainment of a Bachelor of Arts degree are significantly lower for African American and Hispanic men when compared to other ethnic/gender combinations (Carter, 2001; Perna, 2000; Porter, 2006; Strayhorn, 2006). The purpose of this study was to determine what factors predict post-secondary education academic success of male students. Academic success was defined as college GPA and degree attainment. I employed a modified version of the Bandura, et al. (1996) theoretical model that identified four factors that influence self efficacy, hence academic success: SES, familial, peer, and self. In my study, I used SES as a control variable and also controlled for high school preparation, two factors that prior research has revealed influence college GPA and degree attainment (Clark, Lee, Goodman, & Yacco, 2008; Perna, 2000). The findings suggest that race and select parental and peer factors can have both negative and positive effects on the academic achievement and persistence of male students in college. One parental and one peer factor were significantly positively associated with success. The remaining factors were significantly, but negatively associated with academic success.
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