Indicators of academic achievement: A structural equation model

Date of Completion

January 1999


Education, Community College|Education, Educational Psychology




Current research reveals that there are many factors affecting academic achievement. The overall purpose of this research was to empirically evaluate the hypothesized structural relationships among five social cognitive latent variables and a latent GPA variable. Data were collected for the latent constructs of study skills self-efficacy, learning goal orientation, performance goal orientation, perceived future consequences, and persistence, as each is defined under the social cognitive theoretic perspective, as well as grade point average. Of the 398 community college students administered the survey in a sample of convenience, 386 consented to participate. Data were screened and cases were excluded on the basis of outlying response patterns and excessive amounts of missing data. The resulting data set contained 338 cases. ^ The initial specified structural model hypothesized that SSSE would have a direct relationship with estimated GPA, and would indirectly be related to GPA through all of the constructs within the model. Findings showed that study, skills self-efficacy and persistence have a direct positive relationship to grade point average for this sample. Not surprisingly, indirect relationships to GPA were detected for perceived future consequences and performance goals. The performance goals construct was negatively related to persistence. There was also a direct negative relationship between future consequences and persistence. Individuals with a greater focus on the future social rewards of doing well academically (good grades lead to a personal payoff, such as rewards from my family, money, graduation, etc.) demonstrated lower persistence responses. ^ Finally, the practical significance for the GPA construct in the study, also termed effect size, was .44 (R2 = .44, p < .05). This finding allows the interpretation that, overall, this research does contribute to our understanding of academic achievement and the role of self-efficacy for self-regulated study behaviors, goal orientation, perceived future consequences, and persistence. ^