Date of Conferral







Leslie Barnes-Young


This study examined the relationship between participation in a culturally-based arts program and the self-efficacy, self-expression, and achievement motivation in at-risk youth attending Atlanta public schools. The theoretical base used to examine this relationship was grounded in the social cognitive. Interviews conducted with students and parents provided demographic information as well as data on the participation in a culturally-based arts program and the resulting effect on self-efficacy, self-expression, and achievement motivation. Participants included a sample of 108 students between 10 and 14 years of age (M = 11.6, SD = .90). The results of the ANOVA data analysis revealed significant mean differences in self-efficacy and self-expression between the culturally-based arts program participation intervention group and the control group. The analysis indicated no significant mean differences in achievement motivation. There were no significant mean differences in self-efficacy from the pretest and posttest between ages. However, there were significant mean differences in self-expression and achievement motivation scores from the pretests and posttests between ages. Social implications of the research revealed the impact of program involvement on the acceptance of diversity within adolescent development. Social change can happen as a result of this acceptance of diversity. With this knowledge, curricula developers and program implementers may better identify the negative views associated with free expression that have the potential to drive students toward a rejection of academic success or performance-avoidance in the educational environment.