Academic Achievement and Social Skills of Traditionally-Schooled and HomeSchooled Adolescents

Date of Conferral







Virginia Salzer


Past studies have indicated that home-schooled children perform above average in measures of achievement but these studies failed to include an assessment of social skills and failed to include samples of both home-schooled and traditionally-schooled students preventing a direct comparison between these two groups. The purpose of this study was to fill this research gap by addressing the following research questions: (1) Are there significant differences in academic achievement of home-schooled and traditionally-schooled high school students? The Economic Theory of Public Administration of Schooling suggests that home-schoolers will perform academically at least as well as traditional-schoolers; and (2) Are there significant differences in social skills levels of home-schoolers and traditional-schoolers? Social Learning Theory suggests that children learn positive social interaction from other children. The participants were high school students drawn from an ethnically and socio-economically diverse suburban area in the Lancaster and Bakersfield, CA area. A MANOVA was conducted to compare academic achievement and social skills of home-schoolers and traditional-schoolers. Statistical results indicated that there were no significant differences between the two groups in academic achievement but did indicate that students who were home-schooled score significantly lower in social skills than students who are traditionally-schooled. The positive social change implications of this study center on the need to attend to the socialization opportunities for students who are home-schooled. Parents who home-school or are considering home schooling will be able to use this information in planning their children's education and social interactions with other students.

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