Master's Theses


Advanced Education Programs

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)


Research has shown that friendship, along with motivation, can impact the cognitive development and academic achievement of students in varying ways. As a result of the increase in attention nationwide on student achievement and the positive outcomes that result from academic success, knowing the influences of age, friendship quality, various aspects of friendship, and motivation on academic achievement can only serve to enhance student achievement outcomes, and therefore success in adulthood. The present study examined the variables of age, grade level, and friendship quality, including specific aspects such as conflict and closeness, length of friendship, and time spent with friends, in relation to the variables of motivation and academic achievement. The sample for the current study was made up of 93 5th and 8th grade students, ages 10-14. Of the participants, 46 were male and 47 were female. Friendship quality was found to be significantly predictive of both overall motivation and intrinsic motivation. Additionally, age was found to be significantly predictive of academic achievement in both reading and math, and conflict was found to be significantly and positively predictive of academic achievement in math. Further, intrinsic motivation was found to differ among grade levels, with 8th graders having significantly lower levels of intrinsic motivation when examining the influence of friendship quality and grade on intrinsic motivation, as did academic achievement when the influence of friendship quality and grade on academic achievement in reading and math was examined, with 8th graders scoring significantly higher on both.


Dr. Janett Naylor-Tincknell

Date of Award

Fall 2011

Document Type



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