Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-13-2014

Major Department or Program



Erin Pahlke


We utilized a systems approach to a risk and resilience model to examine individual and environmental factors of academic achievement. We investigated the effects of potential protective factors – self-regulated learning, growth mindset, and social support – on the relationship between risk and academic achievement. We predicted that social support, self-regulated learning, and growth mindset would each have a protective effect on the relationship between risk and achievement. We also investigated whether these three key factors would have an additive protective-stabilizing effect on the relationship between risk and academic achievement. Participants completed an online survey. The sample included 73 high school freshmen and sophomores, ages 14-16. Although we found no moderating effects on the relationship between risk and GPA, we identified teacher social support and self-regulated learning as significant promotive factors. The findings are consistent with a compensatory model of resilience. Results are discussed in light of achievement disparities between high and low SES students.

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Subject Headings

Resilience (Personality trait) in adolescence -- Case studies, Risk assessment, Social status -- Socioeconomic status, Academic achievement -- Case studies, High school students -- grades, Self-managed learning, Motivation in education, Social sciences, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2014 -- Psychology Department

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Public Accessible Thesis

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