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Date of Award


Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Susan T. Li


Research indicates that rural students are at risk for low motivation and lack of school success (Hardré, Sullivan, & Crowson, 2009). Additionally, rates of absenteeism have been found to be higher in rural schools, which can negatively impact students’ behavioral, social, and academic outcomes (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2013). The present study builds upon prior work (Green et al., 2012; Hardré et al., 2009; Kearney, 2008; Stave, 2016) and examined the connection between academic self-perception and self-esteem in a rural adolescent population in order to determine if relationships existed amongst these variables and in conjunction with school attendance. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale (Rosenberg, 1965), the Academic-Self Perception scale (McCoach, 2002), questions regarding family encouragement to do well in school, and a demographics questionnaire were administered to 132 high school students in a rural school in the Pacific Northwest. Attendance data were obtained from the school during the winter months of the academic year. Results indicated a significant and positive relationship between self-esteem and academic self-perception. Regarding attendance, a significant inverse relationship was found between chronic absenteeism and academic self-perception. The findings from this study contribute to literature emphasizing the value of familial encouragement to do well in school for supporting self-esteem and academic self-perception, along with demonstrating the positive relationship between parents’ level of education and youths’ academic self-perception. Overall, the results highlight the importance of fostering and encouraging self-esteem, academic self-perception, and familial encouragement in rural high schools in order to improve academic success and promote adolescent well-being.

Available for download on Sunday, October 20, 2019