Self-Esteem and Motivation Effects on Predicted High School Graduation Outcomes
Date of Conferral
Identifying at-risk students and precursors to high school dropout has been an ongoing concern for schools and communities. Dropouts are at a high risk for a lifetime of challenges such as low income, unemployment, lack of healthcare, and incarceration. Motivation and self-esteem have been shown to be influential on a student's decision to drop out of high school. The purpose of this quantitative study was to evaluate the connection between self-esteem, motivation, and on track for high school graduation and identify areas of need in order to improve academic and social success for students. The research was based on social learning theory, attribution theory, and self-determination theory, which provided a foundation to understand the role of motivation and self-esteem. The research questions addressed self-esteem, motivation, and other demographic variables as predictors of being on track for high school graduation. A secondary data analysis was used to evaluate anonymous student responses to the Academic Motivation Scale and Student Self-Esteem Scale as well as demographic information for 165 students in 12th grade to determine possible predictors of being on track for high school graduation. A significant correlation was indicated between self-esteem and motivation, and self-esteem was shown to be a significant predictor of being on track for graduation using a multiple regression analysis. A logistic binary regression was used to examine additional possible predictors and grade point average was shown to be a significant predictor of being on track for graduation. This research helped identify academic barriers and influences on graduation rates, and can be used for identification of at-risk students and improving high school graduation rates.