Date of Award

12-2005

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

John W. Lounsbury

Committee Members

R. A. Saudargas, Leslee Fisher, Eric Sundstrom

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation was to determine the ability of broad and narrow personality traits to predict academic achievement over time in adolescence. Analyses were conducted on a sample of 1328 adolescents from an archival data set. Students were in grades 6, 9, and 12 at time one, and measures were assessed over three consecutive annual testing occasions. Results from correlational analyses showed that all Big Five traits predicted academic performance at Time One and Time Two. All Big Five traits except for Openness predicted academic performance at Time Three. Additional correlational analyses demonstrated that the narrow traits of Work Drive and Optimism predicted academic performance at Time One and Time Two, while only Work Drive predicted academic performance at Time Three. Further analyses were preformed to determine significant gender differences in the relationship between personality traits and GPA. Analyses revealed that there were significant gender differences in the relationships between the traits of Work Drive, Emotional Stability, and Assertiveness with GPA. These findings demonstrate the validity of the Big Five model of personality and selected narrow traits to predict academic performance over time in adolescence. Implications of these findings and ideas for further study are discussed.

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