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Ecological Theory Studies Of Minority Students

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Authors Jessica Downs, Jean Phinney, and Lizette Ivy Chuateco, are interested in predicting academic success in at-risk students, specifically minority students. In study the authors carry out their study using an ecological theory. The ecological theory studies the student’s characteristics and their environment. The authors believe in three overarching variable s have to do with a student’s outcome; those variable are background, personal motivations, and environmental support. Consequently authors completed this study to examine motivational characteristics and environmental social supports make important contributions to a student’s outcome.

Sampling and Data Collection Methods
In the study completed by Downs, Phinney, and Chuateco, researchers
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Researchers collected high GPAs, ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status (SES). SES was determined by collecting a mean of the mother’s and father’s educational and occupation level. Motivation to attend college was measured using a revised version of the subscales from Student Motivations for Attending University, the Family Expectation-driven Motivation subscale, and the Personal/Career Motivation subscale. Social support was measured using questions pertaining to each of the areas. To measure Family support and Peer support researchers used a single question item to measure each. To determine the extent to which participants were lacking resources, researchers used two measures. The first section measured Peer resources needed and the second measured Family resources needed. Outcome variables were taken in the spring and cumulative GPA was taken from the official school records at the end of spring quarter. College adjustment was measured through four items taken from the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire. Students responded to each of the item using a five-point Likert scale. Lastly, college commitment was measured during a focus group where participants responded to a five-point Likert scale during the…show more content…
They used t-tests to examine the mean difference between Latino and Asian participants. The correlation analysis was used to as a predictor variable and college outcomes, the authors calculated this score at the alpha level of .05. Lastly, a regression test was used to examine the effects of motivation and social support variables on college outcomes. The simultaneous regression was ran separately on each of the variables: high school GPA, ethnicity, gender, and SES.

Findings and Conclusions (report statistical values to support narrative findings)
The results of the study only partially confirm that both types of motivation, family expectation and personal motivation, was related to college outcomes. Personal motivation was found to be predictive of college adjustment; whereas, external motivation from family expectations was not significantly related. There was no significant difference between Latino and Asian participants except for GPA. High school GPA was calculated using t (140) = -2.82, p< .005 and
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