Master's Theses

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access

Date of Award

Summer 1987

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Social Work


Bill Daley


The purpose of the researcher was to investigate the differences in attitudes, academic achievement, and self-esteem among graduating seniors, high school dropouts, and those who dropped out of high school and enrolled in an alternative school. The subjects were selected from a Midwestern high school of 1,089 students. The subjects consisted of 36 graduating seniors, 34 dropouts and 33 alternative school students. Of those 103 subjects, 52 we r e female and 51 were male; 49 were Hispanic and 54 were Anglo. The Demos D. Scale was used as the technique to assess the school related attitudes of the subjects. The Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory Adult Form was used to measure the subject's self- esteem. Each subject's grade point average for the ninth grade was employed as a measure of academic achievement. A three group status survey design was employed. The independent variables investigated were gender, race, and graduation status. The dependent variables were academic achievement, school related attitudes, and self-esteem of the subjects. Data analysis consisted of testing six null hypotheses. Each null hypothesis was tested employing a three-way analysis of variance. Forty-three comparisons were made; of those comparisons, eight were found to be statistically significant. The results of this study appeared to support the following generalizations: 1. graduating seniors have a higher G.P.A. than dropouts and alternative school students, 2. Angloes have a higher G.P.A. than Hispanics, 3. graduating seniors place a higher value on the importance of education than high school dropouts and alternative school students. 4. Females place a higher value on the importance of education than males, 5. Angloes have a more favorable attitude toward school personnel than Hispanics, 6. Graduating seniors place more importance on school behavior than dropouts and alternative school students, 7. Angloes have a higher self-esteem than Hispanics, 8. Anglo females have a higher self-esteem than Hispanic females.


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© 1987 Rita L. Weber

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