Date of Conferral
Arcella J. Trimble
Researchers have found that low-income students have greatly suffered academically, yet there have been no advancements causing the academic achievement gap to close for any length of time. Using Bandura's social cognitive, self-efficacy, and academic self-efficacy theories as the foundation, this study explored the mediating effect of academic self-efficacy in the relationship between perceived teacher attitudes and perceived academic achievement in low-income high school students. Data were collected from 145 low-income high school students via an online survey geared towards their parents to ensure full parental consent. The survey included demographic questions, a perceived academic achievement question, the Classroom Teacher-Student Relationship subscale, and the Academic Self-Efficacy subscale. Multiple regression analysis revealed significant findings in that academic self-efficacy mediated the relationship between perceived teacher's attitudes and perceived academic achievement. However, due to cross-over suppression, gender differences were found to be a confounding variable. Further, it was found that girls were predicted to have higher perceived academic achievements than boys. This research is significant as the implications for social change include using the results as the foundation for future programs to improve teachers' attitudes towards low-income students to increase academic self-efficacy in low-income high school students. If these improvements are made, low-income high school students' academic achievement levels may also increase. This, in turn, could cause the academic achievement gap to close between low and high-income high school students.