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College Success and Selected Psychosocial Factors: A Study of Students at a Southwestern Regional University

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TITLE: College Success and Selected Psychosocial Factors: A Study of Students at a Southwestern Regional University
RESEARCHER: Bliss A. Whistler (Ms.)
Department of Psychology and Sociology
Angelo State University (Texas)
Unpublished master’s thesis: December 2003

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between leadership ability and college success.

A total of 260 undergraduate students participated in this study and were obtained from the psychology and sociology department’s subject pool at a Southwestern regional university. The average age of the respondents was 20 and their average GPA was 2.98. There were 167 women and 93 men in the sample and the majority were Caucasian (70%). Participants completed the Student Leadership Practices Inventory, the Achievement Motivation Scale (Strage et al., 2002), and the Student Personal Responsibility Scale – 10 (Singg & Ader, 1999).

Encouraging was the most frequently engaged in leadership practice reported by the students, followed by Enabling and Modeling, Inspiring and Challenging. Regression analysis showed that leadership ability, as measured by the S-LPI, did not predict GPA but it did predict perseverance, task involvement and teacher rapport, as well as overall achievement motivation. Post-hoc analysis found Modeling the Way predicting GPA, perseverance and overall achievement motivation, Inspiring a Shared vision predicting task involvement, teacher rapport and overall achievement motivation, and Enabling Others to Act predicting task involvement.

The author comments that “leadership ability emerged as a strong predictor of overall achievement motivation (accounting for 18% of the variance), which indicates that a student with a high level of leadership ability is likely to adopt a master orientation towards learning” (p. 33).


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