The scholarly work answers the problem by using quantitative methods for assessing if psychological variables affect the achievement of high-performing African American students. The researchers utilized rigorous methods for data collection and Pearson’s correlation analysis, explanatory factor analysis, and multiple regression analysis to assess the correlations between the variables. Additionally, the researchers measured the correlations between the socio-economic status of students on academic achievement, which was a significant addition to improving the validity of the created model. The article also provides an extensive literature review to understand the state of knowledge at the moment of completing the research.
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The article does not use any qualitative methods to answer the research questions. At the same time, the researchers decided to use a sample of only high-achieving African American students, which implies that the article does not answer the question of how the psychological variables under analysis affected low-performing African American students. Moreover, the results were not compared to the achievement of students with other ethnical identities. Thus, the article does not answer the research question fully.
The primary evidence used to confirm the findings is the results of statistical tests obtained using statistical software. In particular, the researchers use Pearson’s R coefficients, coefficients of determination (R-squared) of the regression analysis, and p-values of the coefficients for variables in the regression analysis. The researchers also use the results of previous research to confirm the validity and reliability of methods utilized to assess the relationships between variables. Previous research was also used to demonstrate evidence that the utilized measures were valid to quantify the constructs.
The researchers utilized a sample of 105 African American high school students with cumulative GPA above 3.0. All the students were from the same high school with different socio-economic backgrounds. The dataset utilized for the research was a subset of a large survey conducted in the school that had entries from 1,110 students. The survey was administered by the teachers in their classes, and the researchers acquired permission to utilize the data for their study. In total, the school had 3,150 students attending ninth through 12thgrade. This implies that only 9.5% of entries were used from the total sample of surveyed students, and 3.3% of students in the school participated in the analysis. The researchers utilized Pearson’s correlation analysis, explanatory factor analysis, and multiple regression analysis.
The primary strength of the study is that it utilized rigorous methods for data collection and analysis, which positively affect the reliability and validity of the study. Additionally, an extensive literature review on the problem helps to identify the relevance of the problem, as the literature gap is clearly identified. The literature review also confirms the applicability of utilized methods to answering the identified research question, which puts the study by Dixson et al. (2017) in line with other current research.
The primary limitation of the scholarly work lies in the sample size and its characteristics. The sample was taken only from one school, which implies that the results are limited to this school only. It may be dangerous to generalize the results to the general population of high school students, as the school may have unique characteristics that were not captured by the study. Additionally, the results are limited only to African American students with a cumulative GPA above 3.0. This implies that the study captures neither the effect of psychological variables on the academic achievement of under-achieving students nor the influence of psychological variables on other ethnic minorities.
The researchers did not explicitly mention any theoretical or conceptual frameworks used for the study.
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The results of the study demonstrated that psychological constructs, including grit, growth mindset, ethnic identity, and other group orientations had no significant effect on the academic achievement of high-performing African American high school students after controlling for age, sex, and socio-economic status.
Dixson, D. D., Roberson, C. C., & Worrell, F. C. (2017). Psychosocial keys to African American achievement? Examining the relationship between achievement and psychosocial variables in high achieving African Americans. Journal of Advanced Academics, 28(2), 120-140. Web.