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Religious Orientation and Academic Performance Among College Students
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by Tomesha L. Johnson, Antisha C. Oates, Kelly M. Jackson, Melodie M. Miles, and Lela E. Strong - Spelman College
Categories: Educational | Social
The purpose of the current study was to examine academic performance differences, as measured by grade point averages (GPAs), between intrinsically and extrinsically oriented college students. The investigation also explored whether these differences would be specifically demonstrated among African American students. A total of 116 college students (59 men, 57 women) from 2 universities in the southeastern United States participated. Participants were asked to complete a demographic survey and the Intrinsic Religious Motivation Scale (Hoge, 1972, as cited in Bassett, 1972). No significant difference was found in GPAs among the general sample of intrinsic and extrinsic students. However, results indicated that African American students who were more intrinsically oriented had significantly higher GPAs than African American students who were more extrinsically oriented. These results suggest that there may be cultural differences in students' approaches to achieving academic success. The emphasis on spirituality in the African American culture may explain the association between religious orientation and academic performance that was demonstrated in this investigation. Because of the underrepresentation of minority college students in the literature, further research should investigate the specific role of religion in the academic performance of African American students.