Date of Award

1-29-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Lynanne Black, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joseph Kovaleski, D.Ed.

Third Advisor

Mark McGowan, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

David Polk, Ph.D.

Abstract

The present study sought to add to the current research by investigating perceived social support and academic outcomes as measured by the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) and grade point average (GPA). In addition, the study examined sex differences, differences in ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES) in relation to perceived social support as measured by the Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale (CASSS). Finally, correlations between frequency and importance ratings of the CASSS were analyzed. The sample included 154 regular education 4th grade students from a suburban school district located in south central Pennsylvania. Students completed the CASSS in a large group setting during non-academic time. In addition, PSSA scores were obtained from the district database and students' GPAs were calculated. Results did not indicate a statistically significant difference between male and female levels of perceived social support. The appropriate statistically analyses were unable to be computed for differences among the perceived social support of ethnicity and SES. Based upon study results, overall perceived social support does not correlate with academic achievement as measured by both student GPA and PSSA scores. However, a small, but notable relationship was indicated between low SES students' reading PSSA scores and parent frequency ratings. Finally, a moderate correlation (r = .50) was determined between Total Frequency and Total Importance ratings of the CASSS.

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