Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Maria Scannapieco


There has long been an achievement gap between African American youth and their European counterparts. This phenomenon has constantly been studied and continues to be a concern in not only the education arena, but also the social work field. The current study was conducted using The Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The Ecological Systems Theory was used in order to guide the current study in order to determine which factors are correlated with the high academic achievement of African American youth. The overall purpose of the proposed study was to analyze ecological correlates that contribute to academic achievement among African American adolescents. The reasoning behind the study is to fill gaps that may exist that will aid in solving the issues of low academic achievement of African American youth and add knowledge that will enable social workers and educators to do what is necessary to help our youth and future productive society members. The sample in the current study consisted of 1619 African American youths, ages 13-17. There were more females (846; 52.3%) than males (773; 47.7%) included in the sample. Linear regression was used, along with and Independent t-test and ANOVA in order to analyzed the results of the data. Questions from the original study were analyzed for the results of the present study. Out of all of the correlates, school connectedness accounted for more of the variance in academic achievement, followed by discipline. Approximately 55% of the total variance was accounted for by the correlates analyzed in the current study. This study presents implications for policy, practice and recommendations for future research.


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Social Work Commons