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Psychological Factors Related to Academic Performance and Retention in 1st-Year College Students
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by Andrea L. Rittman - Missouri Western State College
Categories: Learning | Memory | Social
The purpose of this study was to examine psychological predictors of academic achievement and retention. During the 1997 summer registration/orientation programs at an open-admission college in the Midwest, 895 incoming students completed standardized measures of optimism, self-esteem, locus of control, need for achievement, and fear of success. Follow-up assessment with the Life Orientation Test of Optimism (Scheier & Carver, 1985) and the Stress-Related Growth Scale (Park, Cohen, & Murch, 1996) was done after midterm. Academic performance and retention were correlated with the psychological factors. A regression analysis indicated that the psychological variables together with American College Test achievement scores significantly predicted academic performance, but not student retention. Results indicate that psychological factors should be considered when establishing programs for entering college students.