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Matthews, Yanique T.
Program satisfaction, school climate perceptions, and psychoeducational experiences in college preparatory programs :
b a comparison of Caucasian and ethnic minority students
h [electronic resource] /
by Yanique T. Matthews.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 106 pages.
Thesis (Ed.S.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: The current study focused on the extent to which participation in academically rigorous college preparatory programs, International Baccalaureate (IB) and the Advanced Placement (AP) particularly, impacts students from racially diverse backgrounds (Caucasian, African American, Asian American and Hispanic/Latino American). Student outcomes of interest included the program satisfaction, school climate perceptions (relationships with peers and teachers), and psychoeducational adjustment (academic and mental health functioning). The experiences of 381 college preparatory participants were also compared to 143 general education peers and subjected to a series of MANOVAs and ANOVAs. General findings indicated that, regardless of the student's racial identity, students in AP and IB had very positive experiences in terms of high academic achievement, healthy student-teacher and student-peer relationships, and no mental ill health (no stress, anxiety or depression). Limitations, implications and future directions are also discussed.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
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Co-advisor: Shannon Suldo, Ph.D.
Co-advisor: Elizabeth Shaunessy, Ph.D.
Ethnic and racial group differences.
x School Psychology
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Program Satisfaction, School Climate Perceptions, and Psychoeducational Experiences in College Preparatory Programs : A comparison of Caucasian and Ethnic Minority Students by Yanique T. Matthews A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the r equirements for the degree of Education Specialist Department of School Psychology College of Education University of South Florida Co Major Professor: Shannon Suldo Ph.D. Co Major Professor: Eliza beth Shaunessy Ph.D. Constance Hines, Ph.D. Date of Approval: October 19 2009 Keywords: advanced courses high school academic achievement, mental health, ethnic and racial group differences Copyright 2009 Yanique Matthews
ii Table of Contents List of Tables .. v ... vi Chapter I: Introduction .. 1 3 Conceptual Fr . 5 Implications for School Ps 11 Chapter II : Review of the Literature .. 13 The International Baccalau . . 1 4 The Advanced Placement The Benefits of College Preparatory Programs ... ... ... ..19 Demographic Characteristics of Students in College Preparatory Programs . ........... ............................................................................................ .20 Academic Performance of Minority Students in College Preparatory Programs .. 22 Schooling and M . 23 Psychosocial Functioning of Student s in Ad vanced Curriculum ... ... ....2 6 Experiences of Racial and Et .. ..32 Minority students i n .. 3 5
iii . 3 9 Chapter III: .. 4 2 Description of A rchival Dataset .. 4 2 Measure 4 3 Dem 4 3 Academic Achievement .. 4 4 Perceived .. 4 4 Youth Self Report Form of the Chil 4 5 Multidimensional Anxiet 4 6 Child and Adolescent So ... . 4 7 Schoo 4 8 Data Collection Procedure 4 9 Ethical Consi 0 1 Da ta Treatment 5 1 Descriptive S ... 5 1 Grou 5 1 Chapter IV: Results.. .. 5 7 Data Scree 7 Internal Cons istency o 5 7 Analyses Conducted to Answer Speci 5 8 5 8
iv .6 0 6 3 Resea 6 6 6 9 Chapt er V: Discuss .. 7 4 . 7 9 Future Dire ctio . 7 9 Limitations .......... 8 2 Delimitations 8 3 Ref . 8 4 Appendices 7 Appendix A . . 9 8 Appendix B : P .. . 9 9 Appendix C : Child and Adolescent Soc ....... .... .. 1 0 0 Appendix D : Informed Consent to P ... 10 1 Appendix E : Student Assent .................... ....................... ....................... .. 10 4
v List of Tables Table 1. Demogra .. 3 Table 2 Means, Standard Deviations, Skewness and Kur tosis of Program Satisfaction by Ra cial .. .5 8 Table 3. A nalysis of Variance of Program Satisfaction Scores by Racial Ethnic 5 9 Table 4 Means and Standard Deviations of Psychoeducational Adjustment Outcomes by Racial Ethnic 1 Table 5 Means and Standard Deviations of School Climate Indicators by Ra cial Ethnic Subgroup 4 Table 6 Means and Standard Deviation of Psychoeducational Adjustment by Racial Ethnic Subgroup and Educ ation Program... 7 Table 7 Univariate Analysis of Variance of Academic Achievement b y Racial Ethnic Subgroup and Educ 6 9 Table 8 Means and Standard Deviations of School Climate Indicators by Racial Ethnic Subgroup and Educ .. 0 Table 9 Analysis of Variance of Student Teacher R elationship by Racial Ethnic Subgroup and Educ ation Program 3 Table 10 Analysis of Variance of Classmate Support by Racial Ethnic Subgroup and Edu 3
vi Program Satisfaction, School Climate Perceptions, and Psychoeducational Experiences in College Preparatory Programs : A comparison of Caucasian and Ethnic Minority Students Yanique Matthews ABSTRACT The current study focused on the extent to which participation in academically rigorou s college preparatory programs, International Baccalaureate (IB) and the Advanced Placement (AP) particularly impacts students from racially diverse backgrounds (Caucasian, African American, Asian American and Hispanic/Latino American). Student outcomes of interest included th e program satisfaction, school climate perceptions (relationships with peers and teachers), and psychoeducational adjustment (academic and mental health functioning). The experiences of 381 college preparatory participants were also compared to 143 general education peers and subjected to a series of MANOVAs and ANOVAs. General findings indicated that, students in AP and IB had ve ry positive experiences in terms of high academic achievement, healthy student teach er and student peer relationships, and no mental ill health (no stress, anxiety or depression). Limitations, implications and future directions are also discussed. Keywords: advanced courses, high school, academic achievement, mental health, ethnic and ra cial group differences
1 C hapter I Introduction In the United States, there are three main types of high school programs: the general education program, the vocational/ technical program and college preparatory programs. Over the past s everal years, college preparatory programs have become increasingly popular, particularly, the International Baccalaureate and the Advanced Placement programs. For instance, between 2003 and 2008, there was a 74% increase in the number of students taking t he International Baccalaureate examinations (International Baccalaureate Organization [IBO], 2008a). Likewise, there was a concurrent increase of 111% for the Advanced Placement program between 1997 and 2005 (National Center for Education S tatistics [NCES] 2007a ). The International Baccalaureate (IB) program offers an academically rigorous curriculum that is available at the primary and secondary levels of education for students (IBO, 2007a). The IB curriculum currently exists in 2167 schools in 125 countries, with an enrollment of more than 582,000 students. The secondary level program is the Diploma program. The Diploma program is a rigorous two year curriculum for 16 to 19 year old students that culminates in final examinations (IBO, 2007b). Since its 1971 introduction into the U.S. educational system, the IB program has gained considerable prestige in the U.S. as one of the best academic programs (Gehring, 2001). Ivy league universities such as Harvard University, Brown University and
2 Stanford University recognize the IB Diploma as indicative of academic excellence (IBO, 2007c). According to Tookey (2000), the IB program is a good precursor to college since the structure and demand of the program prepares students for the inherent academic challenges that a student will have to successfully maneuver in order to complete a strong work ethic, critical thinking skills, as well as organizational, tim e management and communication skills (Taylor & Porath, 2006). The Advanced Placement (AP) program is a complementary academically rigorous secondary school level program that is intended to facilitate a seamless transition from high school inst ruction to college level i nstruction (College Board, 2008a ). Nugent and Karnes ( 2002) stated that t he AP program originated in the U.S It is currently offered in all 50 states and the federal district of Washington, D.C (College Board, 2007). Similar to the IB program, some benefits of participation in the AP program include the attainment of advance d higher educatio n degree programs (College Board, 2008b ). This often translates into making coll ege more cost effective for the student since the student will be required to take fewer courses at the college level. Traditional U.S. enrollment in the IB and AP programs consists primarily of students who are Caucasian. For instance, of the IB Diploma program students who took exams in 2007, approximately 60.5% were Caucasian, 10.3% were Hispanic/Latino, 9.8% were African American, and 15.8% were Asian / Pacific Islander while 0.3% were American Indian / Alaska Native (IBO, 2007e). Of the stude nts who took AP exams in 2007, 65% were Cauc asian, 14.6% Hispanic/Latino 7.3% African American and 12.6%
3 Asian A merican, with 0.5% Native American (College Board, 2008c ). Comparisons of these IB and AP participation rates to the national participation ra tes in U.S. public high schools indicate that Asian American students are overrepresented (3.9% of American high school students), while both Hispanic/Latino students (18.1%) and African American students (16.6%) are underrepresented. Regarding the acade mic achievement of majority and minority groups in college preparatory programs, recent performance data suggests that Asian American students are excelling, while students from other minority groups score, on average, lower on end of course exams. Specif ically, group level mean scores on AP examinations (note: range of scores is from 1 to 5) taken in 2007 indicated that the mean score for Asian American students was 3.11, which was higher than the average score for Caucasian American students (3.00), as w ell as the scores of other ethnic and racial minority groups (College Board, 2008d). Hispanic/Latino students averaged a score of 2.36 to 2.50, Native American students averaged a 2.45, while African American students averaged a 1.98 (College Board, 2008d ) Statement of the Problem While the academic benefits of the IB and AP programs have been noted, there is a gap in the literature regarding the nature of the experiences of students in college preparatory programs, in general. For instance, it is unknown if college preparatory students are satisfied with the IB and AP programs. More importantly, the social and emotional experiences of students enrolled in academically rigorous programs such as the IB and AP programs are relatively unexplored P reliminary research with primarily Caucasian students in an IB program suggested these youth are relatively well adjusted
4 compared to their peers in the general education program (Shaunessy, Suldo, Hardesty, & Shaffer, 2006). On the other hand, r esearch al so indicates that some students in IB and AP programs students have found the courses to be stressful, and some have engaged in academic dishonesty (Taylor, Pogrebin & Dodge, 2002). While the Shaunessy e t al. (2006), Taylor and Porath (2006), and Taylor, Pogregin, and Dodge (2002) studies have provided some preliminary information about the experiences of students, their findings cannot be generalized to students from racial and ethnic subgroups. A current search of the literature shows that the impact of college preparatory programs on the mental health of high achieving minority students has not been adequately addressed. stu dents who self iden tify as a member of one of the many racial and ethnic subgroups within the larger U.S. population, including African American/Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander or Mul ti racial. Work by Kyburg (2006) regarding the collective experiences of minority students revealed that minority students reported welcoming the challenge that participation in IB and AP programs offered, they found their peers to be both supportive and u nsupportive yet they also report ed difficulty in keeping up with the ir respective course program s experi ences provides little insight into For example, in w hat ways were the experiences of African American students in college preparatory programs similar to or different from that of Asian American students? Considering the paucity of research that has examined the psychoeducational experiences of high
5 achievi ng students across the various racial groupings, there is need for a more systematic study. For instance, some African American students report that they experience loneliness and isolation due to a lack of critical mass in their advanced academic courses (Ford, 2002) Some As ian American students find it challenging to continuously make high grades (Wing, 2 007), while the experiences of both high achieving Latino and Native American students are unknown. With approximately one third of IB 2007 Diploma and AP 2007 examination students belonging to minority race psychoeducational experiences (i.e., their mental health, academic performance and social relationships) in college prepa ratory programs. Conceptual Framework: Links between rogram S atisfaction, S chool C limate and M ental H ealth Roeser et al. (1998) suggest that interdisciplinary research on schooling (educational experiences) and mental health funct ioning is warranted since both contribute to the daily functioning of the student child. For instance, s chool has been found to be a psychological asset for students experiencing poor mental health, e.g. sadness or anxiety (Roeser et al.,1998; 2000). Spe cificially, holding (a) values that school is important, (b) strong perceptions of academic competence (Roeser et al., 2000), (c) supportive and positive relationships with peers and teachers (Osterman, 2002; Wentzel, 1998), and (d) a sense of belonging at school (Osterman, 2002) are precious resources for the student with mental health needs. A critical aspect of such a research program that examines schooling and mental health simultaneously should include an examination of the school climate si nce a student
6 who experiences school as less supportive may participate less within the classroom and demonstrate less emotionally healthy behaviors, i.e., more withdrawal, anxious or aggressive behaviors (Osterman, 2002). The school climate can thus be co nceptualized as an important predictor of mental health belonging to the school and the relationships students have with their teachers administrators and peers have a strong influence on student engagement, academic progress and mental health (Osterman, 2002). Additionally, research indicat es high levels of general school satisfaction linked to better academic performance and reduced symptoms of mental he alth problems (Huebner & Gilman, 2006) academic program/curricula has not been widely studied but findings in the literature on school critical climate (specifically, student teacher relationships and classmate support) are li kely important predictors of their psychoeducational functioning (i.e., academic performance and mental health in terms of levels of stress and internalizing disorders including anxiety and depression). While minority students have collectively noted that they experience supportive peers within their IB and AP classes (Kyburg, 2006), some high achieving African American students have been observed to feel lonely, isolated and experience peer rejection as they pursue high academic standards (Ford, 2002). work suggesting that minority students generally perceived their teachers as very supportive and helpful
7 consisted of students attending diverse schools that were engaged in campus wide efforts to increase minority student participation an d retention. As such, the validity of these conclusions is unknown for students at schools that are not overly engaged in minority recruitment. Thus, the current study explore d the program satisfaction, classmate and teacher support ( used as a measure of school climate) and the psychoeducational outcomes ( namely, academic achievement, anxiety, depression and perceived stress ) for the various minority student groups that participate in college preparatory programs. Purpose of the Current Study The purpose of this study was to explore the program satisfaction, school climate perceptions and psychoeducational experiences of Caucasian and ethnic minority students who participate in college preparatory programs. Roeser, Eccles and Strobel (1998) have called attention to the need for interdisciplinary research focused on the impact of school ing (educational experiences) and mental health outcomes. In an attempt to further such interdisciplinary disco urse, t his current study focused on a specific aspect of schooling the college preparatory program curricula Combining participation in IB and AP programs, this study thus examine d how college preparatory tal health outcomes. Such an investigation may support a positive relationship, or may suggest to educators that particular subgroups of students in academically rigorous programs may need additional supports so that they can be emotionally healthy as well as academically successful. This study investigate d satisfaction with college preparatory program s and thus determine d the extent to which
8 students feel more or less satisfied with their pro gram. Regarding prior research on program satisfaction, Taylor and Porath (2006) found that Caucasian Canadian and Asian Canadian IB students expressed satisfaction with the program since it developed their work ethic, their ability to think critically and ensured adequate preparation for college. Kyburg (2006) observed that racial and ethnic minority IB and AP students also experienced satisfaction with their programs. However, it is not known if this satisfaction varies according to ethnic minority subgr among the students. This current study therefore examine d program satisfaction Shaunessy, Suldo, Hardesty and Shaffer (2006) observed that IB students (predominantly Caucasian sample) had superior academic achievement compared to their peers who participated in the general education program. Given that the intent of the IB and AP program is to ensure that all the students are academically well prepared to be successful in college, this current study also examine d how the various minority student groups are performing academically in college preparatory programs. As academic competence is linked to mental health (Roeser, Eccles & Sameroff 2000), the current study also examine d the psychological outcomes (i.e. anxiety, depression, perceived stress) of AP and IB minority students. Research indicates that IB and AP students have described the programs as stressful and have sometimes engaged in acad emic dishonesty that IB students evidenced levels of internalizing (i.e., anxiety depression) symptoms
9 comparable to students in the general education program, high achieving Asian American students in honors and AP courses have reported text anxiety (Wing, 2007). Considering the cultural underpinnings of U.S. history (Smedle y, 2007), one should not collapse all racial and ethnic minorities into one collective group when examining psychoeducational experiences. It should be further noted that distinct intra group differences also exist for each racial and ethnic minority group ( for example Chinese American versus Japanese American within the Asian American group ( Takaki, 1993). However, an examination at the le vel of intra group differences wa s beyond the scope of this study. This current study investigate d the psychoeducatio nal experiences according to the main ethnic group, e.g. Asian American. To this end, t he specific research questions we re: 1. To what extent are students in college preparatory programs (IB and AP) who are from different ethnic backgrounds (specifically Ca ucasian, African American, Asian American and Hispanic/ Latino) satisfied with their college preparatory program? 2. Are there differences among Caucasian, African American, Asian American and Hispanic/Latino students who participate in college preparatory pr ograms on the following outcomes of psychoeducational adjustment: a. Academic Achievement as measured by grade point average ( GPA ) b. Perceived stress c. Internalizing symptoms (anxiety, depression) of mental health problems?
10 3. Are there differences among Caucasian, African American, Asian American and Hispanic/Latino students who participate in college preparatory programs on the following indicators of school climate: a. Classmate support b. Student teacher relationships? 4. Are there differences between Caucasian, African A merican and Hispanic/Latino students who participate in college preparatory programs compared to those who participate in general education program on the following outcomes of psychoeducational adjustment: a. Academic Achievement as measured by grade point a verage ( GPA ) b. Perceived stress c. Internalizing symptoms (anxiety, depression) of mental health problems? 5. Are there differences between Caucasian, African American and Hispanic/Latino students who participate in college preparatory programs compared to those w ho participate in the general education program on the following indicators of school climate: a. Classmate support b. Student teacher relationships? In order to obtain a large enough sample size to examine each racial and ethnic minority group of i nter est, the present study analyze d archival data from four different high schools. To extend findings from the Shaunessy et al. (2006) study, the study examine d the program satisfaction, psychoeducational functioning, and school climate perceptions of student s in college preparatory programs according to four major
11 groupings: Caucasian, Hispanic, African American and Asian American students. Due to the very low participation rate of Native American students in col lege preparatory programs, the archival dataset that was analyzed precluded an examination of Native students w ere not differentiated into gifted and high achieving IB subgroups since both subgroups would have had t o meet the same minimum criteria (decided by their respective high schools) to participate in the IB program. For analysis of the data, participation in either IB or AP were combined into a single variable called college preparatory program, as t he focus o f the current study was not on a specific advanced curriculum but rather on college preparatory programs in general. Implications for School Psychology Consistent with emphasis on growth and dev elopment of children and youth in a wide range of ed (APA, 2008), there is a need for a more holistic understanding of the experiences of minority students currently enrolled in college preparatory programs. Knowledge about psychological welfare in particular will present a greater understanding of the impact of college preparatory programs beyond its academic benefits. Adults parents) sho uld have knowledge of the typical social emotional experiences associated with participating in a high school college preparatory programs as they continue to recommend these academically advantageous programs to all high achieving students. It is importan t to know what to expect regarding the social emotional functioning of students enrolled in these programs. This study attempt ed to p rovide such knowledge
12 within two specific context s : the psychoeducational experiences and school climate perceptions of min ority students in college preparatory programs
13 C h a p t e r I I Review of the Literature This review of the literature focus es on a description of the most popular college preparatory programs, the perceived benefits of participating in these programs, as well as the type of students who enroll in these advanced academic programs. A discussion of schooling and mental health is used as a framework for presenting the currently established discourse on the academic and psychological experiences of racial an d ethnic minority students. College preparatory programs are designed to increase the college readiness of high school students. A college ready student is one who can successfully navigate the expectations that arise in college courses such as (a) fast paced instruction, (b) student (c) increased student responsibility for reading and reviewing course materials beyond class time (Conley, 2005). In the United Stat es, there are two popular college preparatory programs that are believed to facilitate college readiness: the International Baccalaureate and the Advanced Placement programs In 2003, there were 16, 500 public high schools of which 67% offered Advanced Pl acement courses and 2% offered the International Baccalaureate curriculum (NCES, 2007b ).
14 The International Baccalaureate Program Grace, 2002, [ s ] the education of the whole person, emphasizing intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth through all d p. 14 ). The IB program is currently offered in 125 countries at the primary level (both elementary and middle school) and at the secondary level (high school). There are three levels to the IB program. These three levels can be offered individually or as a continuum. For students aged 3 to 12 years, there is the Primary Years program, which focuses on child development within the classroom and in the world. The Middle Years program transcends traditional subjects to provide academic challenges and foster life skills; students aged 11 to 16 years participate in this program. The most com monly known program is the Diploma program. At the high school level, this rigorous academic program is offered to students aged 16 to 19 years or high school juniors and seniors (IBO, 2007b). Of note, many high schools that offer the Diploma program to s curriculum to students in grades 9 and 10, rather than the complete Middle Years program that is most typically provided during middle school. In the state of Florida, this he Middle Years program and consists of precursor, honors courses that are aligned with the curriculum expected in the Diploma program, such that students are offered Biology courses. (For a full example o 2009).
15 The International Baccalaureate program originated in 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland in response to the need to educate the children of trans national professionals (IBO, 2008b ). For diplomats an d military personnel who work in many countries, their mobile children were being exposed to a variety of educational philosophies and concurrently expected to meet a variety of academic standards. As such, IB was created to standardize the education of su ch children as they transferred from one education system to anot her, across the world (IBO, 2008b ). The IB Diploma program curriculum consists of six disciplines centered around a core educational philosophy called the Theory of Knowledge (TOK ; IBO, 2008c ). TOK focuses on the interconnectedness and the epistemology (Gazda Grace, 2002, p.84) of each of the disciplines: Mathematics & Computer Science Language A (native language), Language B (second language), Experimental Sciences, Individuals and Socie ties and the Arts (IBO, 2008d) required courses within each area. In order to take IB exam inations and thereby earn t he IB certificate or IB diploma, a student must be enrolled in an IB course. Assessments are knowledge based tests, evaluating what the students have learned. Depending on the academic area, these examinations take the form of oral assessments, portfolios and written papers. Completion of the IB diploma further requires a four thousand word essay on any topic of choice as well as 150 hours of creativity, action and service (CAS) projects, which can include community service work, artistic pursuits, or spor t based projects (Gazda Grace, 2002; IBO 2008c ). IB students compete against their own academic performances (criterion referenced testing) and their schools
16 teache rs are specially trained and are also given feedback via reports that detail how the examination was graded as well as how prepared the students were for the exam. Each subject in the IB program is reviewed every five years and incorporates the suggestions of IB teachers throughout the world. As such, the IB program is considered a world class program (Gadza Grace, 2002) with its comprehensive approach to education that demands high academic standards, encourages critical thinking, teacher accountability an d fosters a sense of social responsibility. It is therefore not surprising that the IB While none of the three IB programs was designed specifically to meet the needs of i ntellectually talented students, the structure of the program and the challenges it offers are quite suitable to the needs of gifted or high achieving students (Nugent & Karnes, 2002; Poelzer & Feldhusen, 1997). For the intellectually gifted student, the I B Diploma program in particular can engender a school climate that can develop gifted children Within the United States, there are currently 805 schools that offer one, two or all three of the IB Program levels (IBO, 2007f ). By program, data shows that 120 schools offer the Primary Years program, 218 schools offer the Middle Years program and 558 schools offer the Diploma program (IBO, 2007f ). At most institut ions, the IB program is within a physical facilities with the general education program yet classes occur simultaneously with the general education classes, and are often taught b y a separate group of teachers who have specialized training in the various IB courses. The IB program is offered in all
17 50 states and the federal district of Washington, D.C. The largest concentration of IB Diploma program s is available in California wit h Florida offering the second most IB Diploma program s (IBO, 2006). Over 800 higher learning institutions worldwide recognize the IB Diploma as indicative of a strong academic caliber (IBO, 2007c). Within the U.S., highly regarded schools including Princet on, Brown and Stanford Universities in particular endorse this perception (IBO, 2007c). The Advanced Placement P rogram The Advanced Placement (AP) p rogram originated in the U.S. as an educational program where students undertake college level cou rsework while they are still in high school (Nugent & Karnes, 2002). The concept of AP emerged in 1951 1952 due to simultaneous efforts by Kenyon College, elite high schools ( Andover, Exeter, Lawrenceville ) and elite universities ( Harvard, Princeton, and Y ale ) to bridge the pedagogical gap between secondary and tertiary level education and thus adequately prepare academically strong students for a seamless transition (College Board, 2008a). The next four years were devoted to program development, implementa tion, analysis and growth. By 1956, the College Board assumed ownership of the AP program with responsibilities for its continuity (College Board, 2008a). The AP program is structured as individual courses grouped within 3 main content areas: History/Soci al Sciences and Art; Science/Mathematics; and English/World Languages (Nugent & Karnes, 2002). Currently, there are 37 courses and examinations available across 22 subject areas (College Board, 2008e). For each subject area, there is a corresponding AP Dev elopment Committee (College Board, 2008f). The six to eight members of each committee are high school teachers and college/university professors
18 who contribute a wealth of experience in curricula and instructional design, and who have an understanding of t he critical skill set needed for each subject as well as knowledge of how a student can best show proficiency in the particular subject (College Board, 2008e). However, only high school teachers provide direct classroom instruction to the students (Nugent & Karnes, 2002). Each course is assessed through examinations that feature multiple choice questions and lengthier essay questions that further develop analytic and writing skills (Conley, 2005). The College Board provides professional development for AP t eachers by offering training sessions for each specific AP course, opportunities to score the annual examinations, as well as opportunities to network with other AP teachers nationwide (Conley, 2005). Students can take the various AP subject examinations w ithout taking the AP courses. Since course enrollment is not a prerequisite to taking the AP examinations (College Board, 2008g ) participation in the AP program is not limited to students attending schools that provide the AP curriculum. Students who attend schools where the AP program is not offered or who are home schooled may participate in the AP program via independent study or via the internet (College Board, 2008h). The AP program also offers an Advanced Placement International Diploma (APID). The AP ID caters to students who are attending high schools outside of the U.S. and for residents of the United States who wish to gain admission to international universities (College Board, 2008i ) Attainment of the APID is based on scoring at least a grade of content areas. At minimum, an APID student should take one to two exams within the History/Social Sciences and Art area, one exam within the Science/Mathematics area,
19 and two exams with in the English/World Languages area (College Board, 2008i ) The APID is considered in the university admissions process in more than 40 countries worldwide, ranging from institutions in Canada, Central and South America, the Middle East, Africa and Europe (College Board, 2008b). For instance, at the London School of Economics and Political Science, entry requirements are met only if a U.S. high school transcript includes AP examination grades (College Board, 2008j). Thus, attainment of the APID can allow th e AP student access to some of the elite higher education systems in the world. The AP p rogram is offered in all 50 states and the federal district of Washington, D.C. In Washington D.C. and Florida, 39.7% and 38% of high school students, respectively, ta ke AP examinations; no other states have a higher proportion of students taking these examinations ( College Board, 2007). The Benefits of College Preparatory Programs For the college bound student, participation in college preparatory programs yields man y benefits. According to Conley (2005), the student develops the critical analytic skills and writing skills that form the core foundation for college level work. In addition, higher education institutions, both within the U.S. and abroad, also offer stude nts who have excelled on college preparatory exams exemptions from prerequisite course requirements or college credit (Conley, 2005). Within the U.S., there are 1400 colleges and universities that reward certain high school student s with standin status (C ollege Board, 2008k ) credit For instance, Stanford University may grant up to 45 college credits to students with high AP grades, high IB grades or a combination of high AP and IB grades
20 (Stanford University, 2008). Internationally, over 100 higher education programs (College Board, 2008b) also grant advanced standing. At York University in Toronto, Canada, an AP student may be awarded up to 12 credits or 2 full courses (College Board, 2008l ), whil e an IB student may earn up to 18 credits or 3 full courses at the institution (York University, 2008). Earning course exemptions and college credit provides a concurrent financial benefit since the student will have to take fewer courses towards degree co mpletion. Depending on performance on the college preparatory examinations, students may also be more competitive for state scholarships (Florida Student Scholarships Grant Programs, 2008). Demographic Characteristics of S tudents in College Preparatory Pr ograms Since there is no governing rule from the IB organization or College Board regarding requirements for students who wish to participate in the IB program or AP program, respectively, entry into IB or AP programs is not standardized across high schoo ls. Entry requirements are localized and thus left to the discretion of high school personnel such as the AP Coordinator or AP teacher (College Board 2008g; Miramar High School, 2008), or guidance counselors (Seminole High School, 2008). In Florida, a comm on entry requirement is the submission of a program application inclusive of teacher recommendations (King High School, 2008); a high overall grade point average and a high average in 9 th and 10 th grade English, Math, Science and Social Studies courses, as well as, two years of course work in a foreign language (Riverview High School, 2008). The most recent U.S. census of high school students enrolled in public schools revealed that approximately 58.2% are Caucasian, 3.9% are Asian American, 16.6% are
21 Afr ican American, and 18.1% are Hispanic American (U.S. Census Bureau, 2007). No data were reported for students who identified themselves as Native American. According to the national examination rates for AP and IB participants, traditional enrollment in bo th these programs consists primarily of Caucasian students. Of the students who took AP exams in 2007 approximat ely 65% were Caucasian with 12.6% Asian American, 7.3% African American, 14.6% Hispanic / Latino and 0.5% Native American (College Board, 2 008 c ). Similarly, of the IB Diploma program students who took exams in 2007 60.5% were Caucasian, 15.8% were Asian American, 9.8% were African American, 10.3% were Hispanic/ Latino, with 0.3% being Native American (IBO, 2007e). As such, at the national level Asian American students appear to be overrepresented in both the AP and IB programs, whereas their African American peers are underrepresented in both programs. Students of Hispanic/ Latino descent also participate at a lower rate in both the AP and IB p rograms. Due to a lack of data, it is not possible to speculate on the extent of participation representation of Native American students. At the state level, similarly mixed conclusions may be made for minority high school students within Florida. Asian American high school students represent 3.1% of the state student population (College Board, 2008m); however, they are overrepresented in the AP (5.7%) program (College Board, 2008m). African American students account for 19.6% of the high school populatio n (College Board, 2008m), yet their participations rates are lower with 11.4 % in AP (College Board, 2008m). In contrast, since they account for 21.8% of the school population (College Board, 2008m), Hispanic/ Latino students evidence higher participation rates (24%) in AP (College Board, 2008m). An
22 examination of participation by Native American students shows a presence of 0.3% within the student population, with a commensurate participation rate of 0.4% in AP (College Board, 2008m) Data regarding state level participation in the IB program is not currently available. Academic Performance of Minority Students in College Preparatory Programs An examination of the academic performance of various groups of students in AP classes indicates that Asian Americ an students are performing above the national average and are also outperforming both their minority race peers and students who identify as Caucasian. Students who take AP end of course final exams receive a grade from 1 ( no recommendation to receive coll ege credit/ advanced placement to 5 ( e xtremely well qualified ). Data provided by the College Board (2008c) indicated that t he overall national average for AP examination scores for 2007 was a 2.88, with a 3.00 average score obtained by Caucasian students In contrast, Asian American students average d a 3.11. Hispanic/ Latino students evidence d national average scores ranging from 2.36 to 2.50 (Mexican American, Puerto Rican and Other Hispanic) while African American students score d a 1.98 on average. The national average for Native American students was a 2.45. Interestingly, a similar pattern is observed at the Florida state level (College Board, 2008d) The state average for AP examinations taken in 2007 was 2.52. However, Asian American students avera ge d 2.70, Hispanic/ Latino students average d 2.27 to 2.60, Native American students average d 2.28 while African American students average d 1.85. The mean score for Caucasian students was 2.61 (College Board, 2008 d ). Comparable d ata regarding performance o n the IB examinations or attainment of the IB diploma by ethnic or minority group is not currently available at the national or state level.
23 Schooling and Mental H ealth At a broad concept ual level the relationship between school experiences and student mental health has been well researched. However, when one exa mines this relationship for advanced specialized programs such as IB and AP programs as well as in terms of the experiences of racial and ethnic minority students, one has to combine the limi ted literature from various sources to try to gain this niche perspective. One of the major principles of the Division of School Psychology is to promote (APA, 2008). Inherent in that ideal is the need to understand and predict the contribution the school ecology (i.e., students, curriculum, peers, teachers, organizational structure and climate) makes to the emotional health of children (Herman, Merrell, Re inke & Tucker, 2004). Indeed, Roeser et al. (1998) draw attention to an important mental health outcomes? ment children (Osterman, 2002, p. 188). Roeser et al. (1998) assert that a reciprocal interaction n. While establishing that such interdisciplinary research is in its infancy, Roeser et al. (1998) believe that such an intertwined research focus of academics with mental health is critical to understanding, for instance, how to better link available acad emic and mental health programs, so that all children can be successful. Inherent in this joint focus is also the
24 mental health functioning. The s chool context can have a s trong influence on the extent to which a student is engaged in the classroom and thus achieving academically (Osterman 2002). The school setting also has a salient influence on the mental health of children These influence s occur through the nature of th e school climate, i.e., the degree to which children consider themselves a part of the school, through the support they believe the school offers them, as well as the school specific norms (Gershoff & Aber, 2006). Research has shown that schools can foste r emotional well being, intrinsic motivation, and prosocial behavior, as well as give rise to mental health challenges such as emotional distress, suicidal behaviors, anxiety, violence and substance abuse (Osterman, 2002 ; Resnick et al., 1997). This range of mental health possibilities can be rejection, student teacher relationships and student to student rel ationships (Osterman, 2002); all of which are aspects of a stude Challenging curricula, holding high expectations for students te acher expectations, teacher s reinforcement of adaptive student behavior and the classroom climate have all been found to have an impa ct on student achievement student behavior, and thus student mental health (Gershoff & Aber, 2006 ; Mayer, Mullens & Moore, 2000). Teachers and school based peers influence a studen being in unique ways. For instance, a ccording to Osterman (2002), teachers can greatly infl being. Supportive peers encourage the adoption of more prosocial behaviors while a lack
25 of peer support has been linked to emotional distress (Wentzel, 19 98). As such, the school climate as assessed by a sense of belongingness and the relationships among students and health. In their study of adolesce nt health (7th to 12th grades, N =11, 572), Resnick et al. (1997) observed that 13% to 18% of the emotional distress (i.e., physical and emotional symptoms ) experienced by adolescents was attributable to the school context. Resnick and colleagues (1997) further noted an association betwee n how connected the adolescents felt to their school and their emotional distress and suicidali ty. Roeser et al. hool and receive 43) experience less emotional distress. H owever, research also indicates that the student who experiences school as less supportive is likely to have lower academic motivation, participate less in class or other school activities, have a poorer self concept, be less competent and evidence more wi thdrawal, anxious or aggressive behaviors (Osterman, 2002). According to Roe ser et al. ( 2000 ), b eing academically competent and having a positive valuation of school may be protective factors for students who are experiencing poor mental healt h (i.e., high emotional distress as characterized by feelings such as sadness, unhappiness o r anger) values, and academic confidence [are] important intrapsychic resources that can protect some adole p. 157) from the impact that frequent negative emotional experiences (i.e., sadness, anxiety or anger) can have on school functioning. For instance, given a
26 adol escents will evidence emotional distress in the form of poor classroom participation (e.g. avoid being called by the teacher, stay out of dis cussions; Roeser et al., 1998); the presence of which can negatively impact their academic success Thus, for some students, school may be a psychological asset that tempers their distress so that these students can focus on their education. Researchers have investigated the link between school satisfaction (i.e., the (Huebner & Gilman, 2006). For instance, Huebner and Gilman (2006) have observed that students with high levels of school satisfaction had higher grade point average s higher global life satisfaction, and fewer symptom s of me ntal health problems than their peers with low school satisfaction. As such, students high in school satisfaction demonstrated superior social emotional functioning. Students who expressed low school satisfaction evidenced clinical levels of mental health symptoms compared to student with either high and average school satisfaction. While there is no research that has specifically examined the link between satisfaction program or curriculum and mental health, given the established research on the important connection between aspects of the school ecology and mental health, it seems important to examine academic program. Psychosocial Functioning of Students in Advanced Curriculum Programs Optimal psychoeducat ional functioning or student mental health has been defined as a concurrence between academic success and emotional well being (Roeser & Eccles, 2000). While there is research on the psychoeducational functioning of students with learning disabilities (Gad eyne, Ghesquiere & Onghena, 2004; Martinez & Semrud
27 Clikeman, 2004), with emotional and behavioral disabilities (Kutash, & Duchnowski, 2004), as well as within alternative education settings (Hooper, Murphy, & Devaney 2000), there is a paucity of literatu re examining the mental health outcomes of students participating in advanced curriculum programs When one specifically focuses on the mental health of IB students and AP students, the availability of research is even more limited. As expected, there is a lso a dearth of knowledge on the impact of participation in the IB and AP program s on the mental health of racial/ ethnic subgroups of students. Of the available literature pertaining to college preparatory programs and student outcomes researc hers have focused on primarily two areas: academic experiences and the social emotional experiences of IB and AP students. Taylor and Porath (2006) surveyed 26 Caucasian Canadian and Asian Canadian graduates of the IB program s of the benefits of IB as well as their own personal experiences. The graduates had attended either an inner city school or a middle class/suburban school in British Columbia, Canada. At the time of the survey administration, the graduates had completed t he IB Diploma 5 to 9 years prior, just (a) earned their undergraduate degrees, (b) enrolled in postgraduate studies or (c) begun working in their careers. The participants were provided with 20 statements grouped into three themes (program suitability, psy chological and emotional impact, and preparation for postsecondary study) and asked to rate the statements on a 4 point Likert type scale. They were also asked to respond to 7 open ended questions; for example, The graduates reported numerous positive outcomes such as gaining a better perspective of the world, developing a strong work ethic and critical thinking, learning
28 time management and organizational skills, as well a s being well prepared academically for tertiary level education. However, while the graduates said they valued having been exposed to the IB curriculum, 38% of the participants also reported that the amount of work required had been excessive, unmanageable /or detrimental to their well being. The workload was considered manageable if one was able to keep up with studying and doing homework. A large proportion (44%) of participants also reported that they feared that they would not have gained acceptance into the tertiary institution that they wanted even after having completed the rigorous program. Regarding limitations, this study sampled only Canadian graduates of the IB Diploma program and thus the ability to generalize such sentiments to students from oth er countries is limited. However, given that a key feature of the IB program is its worldwide standardization of the curriculum, the research does provide some valuable insight into the experiences of IB students. It is interesting that the participants co nsidered the workload manageable on the condition that one was anxiety and helples sness may arise. also been observed to result in academic dishonesty. Taylor, Pogrebin, and Dodge (2002) interviewed 32 high school juniors and seniors who participated in AP an d IB programs regarding the pressure to succeed academically. The 18 male and 14 female students were recruited from six different high schools located in a metropolitan city in Colorado. Using a semi structured interview, the researchers found that the st udents were concerned about
29 students reported desperation for keeping up with the workload that lead to incidents of or, during an exam, choosing to sit next to a student who they felt would do well. The students also reported that falling behind in their schoolwork was stressful and overwhelming and they have at times taken While the IB program has been viewed as good for high achieving students, it is evident that even high achieving students can engage in academically maladaptive coping patterns In studies specifically examining coping strategies among IB students, coping patterns that can become maladaptive such as perseveration on the amount of work to be done without taking action, procrastination (Suldo, Sh aunessy, Michalowski & Shaffer, 2008) and frequent anger (manifested by such behaviors as yelling at others ; Suldo, Shaunessy & Hardesty, 2008) were not ed. A study by Shaunes sy, Suldo, Hardesty, and Shaffer ( 2006 ) examined the psychosocial functioning of IB students compared to the functioning of students following a general education curriculum. Using Roese work on adolescent psychosocial functioning and schooling as a framework, Shaunessy et al. (2006) examined the academic functioning, emotional distress and psychological well being of IB students compared to their general ed ucation peers, as well as s tudent perceptions of the school climate. Both subgroups were from grades 9 through 12, and attended a single public high school in a rural county in the Southeastern United States. The two programs, IB and general education, wer e housed within a single school building. The IB subgroup totaled 122 students with 33 classified as IB
30 criteria for intellectually gifted students) and 89 as IB High Achieving (i.e., students who were parti cipating in the IB program but had not been identified as intellectually gifted). The general education subgroup included 176 students. All groups were predominantly Caucasian (70 73%). For the IB groups, other racial/ethnic groups included students who we re African American (1 3%), students who were Asian American (13 18%), students who were Hispanic/Latino (0 9%), students who were Native American (0%) with 4 6% foll ows: African American (14%), Asian American (1%), Hispanic/Latino (9%), Native American (<1%) and Other (5%). The majority of the participants were female, with 61% in the IB Gifted group, 62% in the IB High Achieving group and 73% in the general education group. Data were collected via adolescent self report surveys. Specifically, the School Climate Scale (SCS; Haynes, Emmons & Ben Avie, 2001), Self Efficacy Questionnaire for Children (SEQ SS; Huebner, Ash & Gilman, 1998), Youth Self Report of the Child Behavior Checklist (YSR; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001) and Negative Peer Affiliations (Heinze, Toro & Urberg 2004) were administered. Multivariate (MANOVA) and univariate analyses of variance (ANOVA) revealed that both the IB High Achieving and IB Gifted student types had similar positive perceptions of school climate and these perceptions were also more posit ive than reported by their peers in general education. Based on school record data, the students in the IB groups were similarly superior on academic functioning (better school attendance, fewer
31 discipline referrals, better grades and more academic confide nce). IB students reported less externalizing psychopathological symptoms (e.g., aggressive/rule breaking behaviors) compared to their general education peers. Regardless of subgroup however, participants did not differ on internalizing problems and all re ported similar levels of overall life satisfaction. In sum, the gifted and high achieving students in the IB program could not be differentiated on the basis of school functioning, psychological well being ( internalizing and externalizing symptoms ) and pe rceptions of school climate as they evidenced similar positive outcomes. Most notably, the majority of outcomes for IB students were more positive than those reported by the students in the general education program at the same school. The fin dings of the Shaunessy et al. (2006) study support that participation in the IB program does not negatively impact gifted and high achieving students but, conversely, may be well suited for them. At worst, some aspects of the psycho socia l functioning of I B students are similar to the average high school student who is not following a specialized intensive academic track. While these preliminary findings have positive implications for the IB program, one question generated by the Shaunessy et al. (2006) st udy is, what are the social emotional experiences for students within the same academic rigorous program, who have different ethnic identities? It is not known how aptly these findings will generalize to IB students who belong to racial and eth nic minorit y groups. The Shaunessy et al. (2006) study consisted of predominantly Caucasian students. Having such a high percentage of Caucasian students in the study may have concealed the psychosocial functioning / mental health status of the non Caucasian student s in the sample. With the sample limited to one high school and
32 given th e traditionally low numbers of m inority students in IB program, it is possible that the authors did not have sufficient statistical power to compar e the students according to their rac ial and ethnic grouping. Gifted and high achieving students who are members of racial / ethni c minority groups may report different experiences from their Caucasian peers and may thus have unique social emotional needs (Ford, 2002) that may warrant further attention. Experiences of Racial and E t hnic Minority S tudents The interaction between academia and U.S. societal stereotypes has formed the research basis for understanding the experiences of non Caucasian American students who participate in the U.S. system of education (Benton Lee, 2006; Carter, 2005; Donato, 1997; Hemmings, 1996). While such a research trajectory exists for most of the major racial groupings, an extensive search of scholarly databases has generated very little literature exa mining the school experiences of high achieving racial and ethnic minority students. When identified by race or ethnic group, the research is relatively non existent for high achieving students of Native American, Asian American or Hispanic American desce nt; most of the available research has focused on African American students. According to Ford (2002), the performance of African American students within the academic arena may be hindered by the existence of racial stereotypes regarding the in tellectual ability of African American people, i.e. that they are not high achievers. Ford (2002) asserts that some African American students purposefully underachieve or hide their intellectual abilities in order to maintain social acceptance from same ra ce peers. For some high achieving African American students, pursuing academic success may
33 few same race peers in advanced program classes. Ford further notes that these students may often feel such concerns with school personnel. Fordham and Ogbu (1986) note these social While d placement Barnett, 2001, p. 82) has been considered a definitive sign of one acting white, researchers have also noted that not all African American students have these negative social emotional experiences. I n their qualitative study of African American adolescents at eight different secondary schools in North Carolina, Tyson Darity, and Castellino (2005) observed that these students desired to do well academically and were not inhibited by fear of being accu students took advance coursework in order to improve their grade point averages, to improve access to college, and to be successful once they are college students. More interestin gly, the students reported that their friends supported their academic prowess In the case of Asian Ameri can students, there is a polar opposite expectation regarding intellectual ability. Unlike their African American peers, Asian American students are expected to have high intellectual ability and to place a premium on
34 education (Wing, 2007). These tenets i nfluence the underlying assumption for why Asian stereotype reflects the U. S. societal belief that all Asian American students are high academic achievers (Wing, 2007), hard workers, value education, and are math and such beliefs also imply that Asian American stud ents do not experience academi c or psycho emotional challenges (Wing, 2007). Wing (2007) conducted a mixed among a diverse group of Asian American students at a public high school in California. Based on her qual itative study of six students, Wing (2007) observed that the students with high grade point averages overall and high averages in honors and advanced with their school in her math honors course (p. 464). Due to daily family babysitting responsibilities, another AP Calculus and AP Physics student noted that it was not unusual for her to work on assi gnments beyond midnight. Another high achieving student, who emigrated to the U.S in the third grade and had been accepted to the college of her choice, spoke English fluently but was experiencing difficulty passing a graduation requirement, specifically a n sample of students and thus is not generalizable to all Asian American students, these reported experiences indicate that success for the Asian American student entails
35 sacrifice and challenges. This preliminary study further hints that there may be a need for support services for these students. In the case of Hispanic/Latino and Native American youth, no written discourse could be found regarding the school or ps ychological experiences of high achieving members of these racial groups. As such, the current study will be the first attempt to examine the socio emotional experiences of Hispanic/ Latino youth in advanced academic curricula. Minority students in college preparatory programs In a preliminary study of minority students in advanced curriculum tracks, Kyburg (2006) examined the experiences of some racially, linguistically, culturally and economically diverse gifted students taking AP and IB class es. The author was primarily interested in these talented their comfort, satisfaction and achievement success. To this end, the author applied qualitative research method ology to a data subset of the National Center for Research on the Gifted and Talented study (see Callahan, 2003). Interviews were conducted with 49 students, 32 AP and/or IB teachers, one building principal, one district level gifted coordinator, one IB co ordinator, one school counselor, and one gifted resource teacher. The participants were from two urban, high minority, northeastern U.S. high schools engaged in efforts to increase the number of minority students who took advanced coursework. School A was predominantly Hispanic (48%), with students who were African American accounting for 24%, students who were Caucasian accounting for 17%, students who were Asian American accounting for 11% and students who were Native American accounting for <1%. Forty th ree percent of
36 the student population received free and reduced lunch. At School B, African American students accounted for 38% of the site sample; the rest of the sample had students who were Caucasian (23%), Asian American (21%), Hispanic (18%) and Nati ve American (<1%). Twenty one percent of the population received free and reduced lunch. A contact person at each high school was asked to recruit a representative sample of students, teachers and classrooms. The degree to which the school contacts adhered to such directions is unknown. During the interviews, 27 of the 49 students self identified their ethnicity or were identified by the researchers. However, the ethnicities of these 27 were not reported. Likewise, no sp ecific information regarding all 49 s tudents in terms of their linguistic, cultural and economic diversity was provided. Prior to or after teacher interviews, classrooms were also observed for ninety student interactions, (p. 51). These topics also informed the semi structured interview protocols. Teacher interviews were conducted on an individual basis or in focus groups. Similar to the teachers students were interviewed in groups of three to four persons. Other data sources instructional materials, student artifacts, program literature and communication 51). The data was analyzed using the Coffey and Atkinson (1996) coding system where codes were initially generated from literature on minority adolescents as well as on gifted and talented youth, and then derived directly from the collected data. Thematic analyses of the various data sources revealed three main contexts for the
37 programs: individual, instructional and social contexts. Within the individual con text, some students noted that participating in the advanced program had a positive impact on their self esteem. They also welcomed the intellectual challenges offered in the advanced program since such challenges would adequately prepare them to be stron g college applicants to top tier schools and be successful in college. Interestingly, some students noted that they did not want teachers to treat them differently or make special curriculum modifications due to their minority status. They wanted to be per ceived as equally able as their non minority peers. With regards to instruction, some students were highly motivated, eager to learn and enjoyed the opportunities to engage in classroom debates and conduct individual research projects. However, some studen ts also noted that IB and AP programs were challenging due to the continuous work and the relatively fast pace of instruction, which often translated into difficulty keeping up. Within the social context, some students appeared to hold their teachers in h igh esteem. Some teachers were reported as being readily available, verbally encouraging, emotionally supportive and generally interested in their success. Students cited examples of teachers holding AP lunch labs and study halls, providing extra assistanc e before and after school hours, as well as a week allow them to thrive in the advanced programs. Peers were observed to be both supportive (AB and IB peers) and non supportive (non AP and non IB peers). A P and IB AP and non that having fellow minority peers in their advanced courses provided further support, in that they
38 shared coursework management strategies with one another and provided moral support in cases of teacher negativity. Parents were noted as either directly in volved in helping the students with their educational plans or uninvolved. The findings of the Kyburg (2006) study suggests that for academically talented minority students, participation in the advanced programs provides many benefits in terms of an intellectual match, supportive peers and teachers. However, the degree to which these results can be generalized to other schools is limited since these students attended very diverse schools that were aggressively encouraging their participation in such, the noted student experiences could be overly influenced by the positive school climate. The experiences of minority students in schools that are not aggressively encou raging their participation in advanced courses or in schools that are less diverse are unknown. Given the diversity that characterized these two high schools, as well as the intended research focus on understanding minority student experienc es, Kyburg (2006) undermined the richness of her findings by not providing a detailed description of the demographic characteristics of the student sample. As a result, it is not known if students belonging to one particular diversity group report more or less comfort, satisfaction and/ or achievement success with the AP and IB program compared to other groups. Likewise, given the historical development of U.S. society (Smedley, 2007), the ntially negates the experiences (Howard, 2002; Kober, 2001; Ndura, Robinson & Ochs, 2003; Sadowski,
39 2001; Solrzano & Ornelas, 2004). In the current study, these methodol ogical shortcomings will be addressed by having the students self identify their minority status, conducting analyses per minority group. Of note, although unique intra group di fferences exist for each racial group in U.S. society (e.g. within the Hispanic American group, Mexican Americans compared to Puerto Ricans; Takaki, 1993), such a focus will not be undertaken in this study. is evident that one cannot and should not assume that African American or Asian American students who partake in advanced academic programs are doing well emotionally. Likewise, with no studies examining the psycho emoti onal functioning of Latino and Native American students taking advanced curricula programs, no conclusions can be made about these students. It is possible that high achieving minority students may or may not experience maladaptive social emotional experie nces that may (APA, 2008), it is important to find out just what their experiences are. Conclusions from Literature Review impact on the educational future of the a dolescent, the influence of schooling experiences on the emotional well being of children (Osterman, 2002; Resnick et al., 1997), as well as ting the healthy growth and
40 development of children and youth in a wide range of educational contexts 2008), it is surprising that there is a paucity of research examining the psychoeducational impact of intense high school programs on adolescents. Conley (2005) asserts that, regardless of intellectual ability, experience with general education courses prior to AP courses does not adequately prepare students for the challenging pace or task demands that are an inherent aspect of AP coursework. While a student can gain much academically (IBO, 2007a), it has been n oted that some students viewed the workload as excessive, reported homework/ studying and fears of not getting into the college of their choice (Taylor & Porath, 2006). Such concerns can lead a student to experience symptoms of a nxiety or depression. As such, it is important to gain a better understanding of the extent to which For students from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds, particularly tho se students who are African American or Hispanic, the academic intensity and quality of the high school program significantly predicts college completion (Adelman, 1999; 2006). With increasing representation by minorities in the IB and AP programs (IBO, 20 06; IBO 2007e; College Board, 2008c ), it is thus important to examine the psychoeducational experience s of this subset of high school adolescents. Research shows that minority students have expressed concerns about being high achievers in school (Ford, 200 2; Steinberg, Dornbusch & Brown, 1992; Wing, 2007). Since they have not been traditionally represented in challenging academic programs it is thus important to examine the psycho educational experiences and school climate perceptions of these students sinc e such knowledge can only serve to inform school personnel as how to best
41 serve their increasingly diverse student populations. As such, the current study will attempt to fill this gap in the knowledge.
42 C h a p t e r I I I Method This purpose of this study was to explore the program satisfaction, psychoeducational experiences and school climate perceptions of Caucasian and ethnic minority students who participate in college preparat ory programs. This study involved a secondary analysis of data gathered durin g Fall 2006 and Spring 2007. This chapter includes descriptions of the archival dataset in terms of sample measures and procedure s used to gather data. This is followed by a descripti on of statistical procedure s used in this study to analyze the archival dataset to answer the research questions in the current study. Description of Archival Dataset The convenience sample was selected by recruiting students from 4 different high schools from the Northeast, Central, Southwest and Southeastern regions of Flor ida. The overall sample consisted of 537 students in grades 9 through 12 enrolled in either the International B accalaureate program, the Advanced Placement program, or the general education program in the four schools The IB program consisted of students program in grades 11 and 12. Students in the AP program attended a single school; at this magnet school, students took at least six AP classes. Of note, it is unknown if a ny of the students in the general education program also took one or more AP courses during high school. Only students who self identified as being Caucasian/White, African
43 American/Blac k Asian American or Hi spanic/Latino were included in the current stu dy A demographic breakdown of the sample is given in Table 1. T able 1 Demographic Characteristics of Sample N = 537 Measures The following measures were used to collect data in the original study. Demographic form A demographic form ( see Appendix A) w as administered to the students that solicited basic information such as birth date, current gra d e level, gender, race/ethnicity and type of program in which enrolled (IB, AP or traditional) the Variable College prep. General Total (AP, IB) Education Sample n % n % n % Gender Male 129 34 58 37 187 35 Female 251 66 98 63 349 65 Grade 9 110 29 23 15 133 25 10 114 30 47 30 161 30 11 92 24 54 35 146 27 12 65 17 32 20 97 18 Ethnicity Caucasian 253 66 91 58 344 64 African American 54 14 32 21 86 16 Asian American 40 11 3 2 43 8 Hispanic/Latino 34 9 30 19 64 12 Socioeconomic status Low 37 10 60 39 97 19 Average/High 343 343 90 9 5 61 438 81
44 highest education level of mother and father and time taken to travel to school For the variable race/ethnicity, eight distinct categories were offered and the participant was asked to choose the most applicable: White, African American/Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander, Multi racial or Other In addition to the above, i ncluded on this form was on e item designed to Students were my school program (e.g., IB, AP, traditional etc) using a 5 p oint Likert type scale ranging from 1=strongly disagree to 5= strongly agree. Academic achievement Academic achievement was measured by g rade point average (GPA) Data student s cumulative s chool re cords with the assistance of a school employee from each high sch ool. Due to the assignment of additional credit for advanced courses (IB, AP), grade point average was weighted by the schools and thus was measured on a 5 point scale (where an A = 5 .0 to 4.0; B=3.0 ; C=2.0; D=1.0 ). Grade point average was used as a measure of academic achievement where a high GPA indicates a high level of achievement and a low GPA indicates a low level of achievement. Perceived Stress Scale (PSS ). The PSS (Cohen, K amarack & Mermelstein, 1983) is designed to assess the degree to which one appraises current situations in life as stressful This 14 item scale (see Appendix B) can be used to gauge the degree to which Cohen et al., 1983, pp. 387 ) within the past month. For each item, respondents are asked to indicate how often during the past month they felt or thought a certain way as described in the
45 item. They were asked to respond to eac h item using a 5 point Likert ty pe scale that range from 1 ( Never ) to 5 ( Very Often ) Responses on the PSS are summed manually to yield a total score after the positively worded items have been reverse scored. The half of the PSS items that refer to coping were not included in the original dataset Instead, o nly the 6 items that directly asked about current levels of experienced stress /distress were administered. Prior research has identified this 6 item subscale as measuring general perceived distress in adolescents (Martin, Kazarian, & Breiter, 1995). Regarding re liability and v alidity of the PSS reliability studies using college students ( N = 446) and community populations ( N = 64), Cohen et al. (1983) reported high internal consistencies of the PSS sca le with coefficient alphas of the 14 item scale ranging from 0.84 to 0.86. Test retest reliability estimates within a 2 day period was 0.85, and for a 2 week mark period was 0.55. Predictive validity of the PSS with depressive symptomology or rates of depr ession measures was found to range from r = .65 to .76 (Cohen et al., 1983). The Youth Self Report (YSR) F orm of the Child Behavior Checklist Originally developed in 1991 by Thomas Achenbach and Leslie Rescorla (2001) the YSR is a 114 item measure that can be used with children and adolescents aged 11 through 18 years The instrument contains a total of 21 subscales designed to screen for competencies, adaptive functioning and problems in children The Withdrawn/Depressed subscale (8 items) was used to a ssess depressive symptoms, a n indicator of psychopathology used in this study. T he Withdrawn/ Depressed scale does not technically diagnose depression nor assess the complete range of symptoms encompassed by DSM classifications of Dysthymia Disorder and M ajor Depressive Disorder Instead, the Withdrawn/ Depress ed
46 sub scale is an empirically derived index in which all items load satisfactorily on a latent variable tapping symptoms of depression and/or social withdrawal. Using a 3 point response scale rangin g from 0 ( Not True ) to 1 ( Somewhat or Sometimes True ) to 2 ( Very True/Often True ), participants indicate whether they have experienced any changes in their mood. For instance, of items taken from the scale, participants indicate whether, The scale score can be computed manually or by computer by summation of the scores. Results are reported as being in the clinical range ( T score more than 69) borderline range ( T score between 65 to 69) or normal range ( T score less than 65) for depressive symptoms Regarding r eliability of the YSR in a sample of 1938 children, the YSR evidenced moderate test retest reliability ( r = 67 ) and high internal consistency ( = 7 1). Regarding validity, the Withdrawn/Depressed subscale yielded a correlation of .49 with a DSM IV checklist of Depression, and a .36 correlation with a clinical diagnosis of depression (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001). Due to copyright restrictions, a co py of the YSR is not included in the appendices. The Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC ). The MASC ( March, 1997) was used to assess anxiety, another indicator of internalizing symptoms used in this study. The MASC is a 39 item scale that can be used with children and adolesce nts aged 8 through 19 years to assess a cross section of anxiety symptoms in children. For H ow often is the statement true for you?... I feel tense or measured on a 4 point response scale including 0 ( Never True About Me ) 1 ( Rarely True About Me ) 2 ( Sometime True About Me ) and 3 ( Often True
47 About Me ) The MASC can be scored manually or by compute r by summation of the scores to create each subscale and an overa ll MASC Total Anxiety scale from the 39 items T scores are also generated. A T score between 56 and 70 indicates that the set of symptoms for which the s cale screened (e.g. Soc ial Anxiety). A T score below 55 is considered not clinically significant and thus does not warrant further attention. For the purposes of this study, the Total MASC Anxiety Scale was used This scale covers a broad spectrum of anxious symptoms. R egardin g r eliability and validity of the MASC Total Anxiety Scale in a sample of 24 male and female children, the MASC Total An xiety Scale evidenced high test retest reliability ( r = 0.9 3) and high internal c onsistenc y ( = .88 to .89; March, 1997). Discriminant v alidity between a sample of clinically anxious children/adolescents and a non anxious group evidenced a 90% sensitivity (M arch 1997). Due to copyright restrictions, a copy of this scale is not included in the ap pendices. Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale (CASSS ). The CASSS (Malecki, Demaray & Elliot, 2000) is one of two measures i n the current study that was used to assess indicators of school climate, specifically classmate support The C ASSS is a 60 it em, five subscale, multi dimensional measure of social support for children and adolescents. For the purposes of t his study, the CASSS Classmate s ubscale (see Appendix C) was utilized as a measure of a classroom based peer support dimension of school clima te. The Classmate s perception of four types of support from classroom peers: emotional, appraisal, informational and instrumental support Two Likert type scales are used to assess
48 frequency and impor tance of perceived social support However in the archival dataset only the frequency of p erceived support scale was used. St udents reported how often they received the support described, using a 6 point response scale from 1 ( Never ) to 6 ( Always ) that a ssesses frequency. For example, participants were asked to indicate how often they perceive d support from their classmates e.g., The sub scale score range s from 12 ( minimum value ) to 72 ( maximum value ). The highe r the subscale score, the higher is the perceived level of classmate support. Regarding reliability of the CASSS Classmate subscale Malecki and Demar ay (2002) reported the CASSS Classmate subscale to have a high test retest reliability ( r = .80) and high i nternal consistency ( = .94 ) based on a sample of 757 ad olescents Empirical support for the construct validity of this subscale is provided via a high correlation ( r = .66) between the Classmate subscale of the CASSS and the corresponding subscale of Har School Climate Survey (SCS ) The SCS ( Haynes et al., 2001) is a 42 item survey designed to measure the nature of the relationships among staff and students within a school building and how students perceive their school environment. In this archival dataset the High School student version of the SCS was administered. Only the Student Teacher Relations subscale (9 items) will be used in the analyses for the current study since a focus of th between the student and his/her teachers in terms of trust, caring and respect. Sample at my school, the teachers do not respect the students. Responses are measured on a 5 point Likert type scale including 1 ( Strongly Disagree ) 2 ( Disagree ) 3
49 ( Not Sure ) 4 ( Agree ) and 5 ( Strongly Agree ) The SCS is scored manually to yield a domain s core for the subscale of interest after the negatively worded items have been reverse scored Regarding r eliability of the School Climate Survey Student Teacher subscale Haynes et al. (2001) reported a n internal consistency of 0.89 for the Student Teac her domain. Empirical support for the construct validity of the SCS is lacking. To date, the scale developers only report a summary statement to the effect that factor analysis supports a five factor structure, and one of the five subscales is Student Teac her Relations (Haynes et al., 2001). Due to copyright restrictions, a copy of this subscale is not included in the appendices. Data Collection Procedure At each of the 4 high schools, lists were developed by grade lev el, containing the names o f all the students who received written parental consent ( see Appendix D for parent consent form ) to participate in the study These participants were then assembled in the main hall at each school. T he purpose of the study was re stated and students provi ded written assent (Appendix E) to participate. Then, the battery of measures including the demographic form described above in this chapter was administered. To include students who were absent on the day of primary data collection, a follow up collection day was designated at each school. Data collectors include d two p rofessors (Principal Investigators) from the University of South Florida and graduate level student research a ssistants fro m the School Psychology Program, including the author of the curren t study Data pertaining to the student s grades w ere collected in June 2007 at the
50 end of t he school year from the student s cumulative school record s with the assistance of a school employee from each high school. Confidentiality was maintaine d in this study by assigning each participant a numerical code which was also placed on his/her questionnaire packet A spreadsheet of the nam es and number assigned was created and kept separate from the completed questionnaires. All completed questionnair es were kept in file boxes and stored in a school employee of each high school provided the Principal Investigator via electronic mail. A spreadsheet containin g the assig ned student number, the student s responses to the questionnaire s and their grades was created. This information regarding each student and grades was kept in a password encrypted electronic file. T he author of this present study analyze d a de i dentified dataset that contained all available information from self reports and school records for each student participant. Ethical Considerations P ermission to conduct the study was sough t from the University Institutional Review Board. Once permissi on was gr anted, the IB administrator/IB p rincipals and the AP administrators at each high school were invited to have students in their IB and AP programs participate in the study. Once district and school level permission was granted, a letter providing i nformation on the purpose of the study and requesting parental consent was given to IB and AP class teachers for distribution to all IB and AP students. Participation was also sought from students in general education at the two schools that had such progr ams. Only those students whose parents provided consent for their child to
51 participate in the study were asked to assent by signing a participant letter that described the purpose of the study. Current Study: Statistical Analysis Procedure s The statistical analyses procedure s used in the secondary analysis to address t he research questions posed in the current study are described below. The SAS System (version 9.2) was used to conduct the data analyses. Data Treatment Frequencies wer e co mp uted to check for missing data across the variables P arti cipants with missing values on any of the variables were not include d in any further data analysis. For the IB, AP and general education programs, all students who self identified as Caucasian across the 4 high schools were classified into the sub group, for this study. Likewise, all students who self identified for the racial minority group s ( spanic/Latino across the 4 high schools w ere classified accordingly. Descriptive s tatistics Means, standard deviations, skewness, kurtosis and additiona l data (e.g., variances) were obtained for the college preparatory and general education sub samples. These descriptive statistics were also o btained for each of the variables of interest: academic achievement (GPA), program satisfaction, psychopathology (perceived stress, Affective Problems Scale of the YSR, the Total Anxiety scale of the MASC) and school climate (the Classmate Support subscale of the CASS S, the Student Teacher relationship subscale of the SCS). Group differences Per research question, assumptions of the statistical test were examined prior to determining group differences. For the univariate analyses of variance
52 (ANO VA) tests of normality (skewness, kurtosis and Shapiro Wilk test ) and homogeneity of variance assumptions were examined. For the multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) the normality (multivariate skewness and multivariate kurtos were examined. Given the results, ANOVA and MANOVAs were then conducted Multivariate effect sizes were also computed. Research Question 1 : To determine if the students belonging to the var ious ethnic/ racial groups evidenced statistically different levels of satisfaction with the college preparatory program, data were subjected to a one way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Prior to conducting the univariate analyses, the assumptions underlying the ANOVA were examined. Skewness and kurtosis were examined and the Shapiro Wilk test was used to determine if there was normality of data The Levene test was used to determine if the homogeneity of variance assumption was met. An alpha level of 0.05 w as used to determine statistical significance. If the ANOVA evidenced a statistical difference, a Tukey honestly significant difference (HSD) post hoc test and Bonferroni adjustment s were conducted to d etermine which of the group means differ ed by a statis tically significant amount Research Question 2: To determine if there were racial ethnic differences in psychoeducational adjustment among student subgroups who participated in the college preparatory program, the means and standard deviations for each subgroup were calculated for each outcome indicator of psychoeducational adjustment. To determine if the mean differences between subgroups were statistically significant, data were subjected to a multivariate analysis of variance ( t adjustment
53 to account for unequal group cell sizes Prior to running the multivariate analyses, the assumptions underlying the MANOVA were examined. Skewness and kurtosis were examined to assess normality of the data. was used to determi ne if data met the homogeneity of co variance assumption The Mahalanobis distance value was used to examine the possible influence of individual observation s on the statistical result An alpha level of 0.05 was used to determine statistical significance f or each of these assumptions. A MANOVA with a Welch adjustment was then conducted to determine if students in the four racial ethnic sub groups (Caucasian, Asian American, African American and Hispanic/Latino) display ed between group differences on the psychoeducational adjustment (i.e., academic achievement, perceived stress, anxiety, depression) within t he college preparatory program. If the MANOVA evidenced statistical differences, f ollow up (ANOVAs) using Tukey honestly significant difference (HSD) test and Bonferroni adjustment s, were conducted to d etermine which of the ed by a statistically significant amount. Research Question 3: To determine if there were racial ethnic differences in school climate perceptions among student s ubgroups who participated in the college preparatory program, the means and standard deviations for each subgroup were calculated for each outcome indicator of school climate perceptions. To determine if the mean differences between subgroups were statisti cally significant, data were subjected to a multivariate analysis of variance ( t adjustment to account for unequal group cell numbers. Prior to running the multivariate analyses, the assumptions underlying the MANOVA were examined. S kewness and kurtosis were used to assess normality of the data. was used to determine if the
54 homogeneity of co variance assumption was met The Mahalanobis distance value was used to examine the possible influence of individual observation s on the statistical result An alpha level of 0.05 was used to determine statistical significance for each of these assumptions. A MANOVA with a Welch test adjustment was then conducted to determine if students in the four racial ethnic sub groups (Caucasi an, Asian American, African American and Hispanic/Latino) display ed b etween group differences on school climate perceptions (i.e., classmate support, student teacher relationships) within t he college preparatory program. If the MANOVA evidenced statistical differences, f ollow up (ANOVAs) using Tukey honestly significant difference (HSD) test and Bonferroni adjustment s, were conducted to d etermine which of the ed by a statistically significant amount. Research Question 4: To determine if there were racial ethnic differences in psychoeducational adjustment among student subgroups across the educational programs (i.e. the college preparatory program compared to the general education program), the means and standard deviations for each subg roup were calculated for each outcome indicator of psychoeducational adjustment. T he assumptions underlying the MANOVA were then examined. Skewness and kurtosis were used to assess normality of the data. was used to determine if the homoge neity of co variance assumption was met The Mahalanobis distance value was used to examine the possible influence of individual observation s on the statistical result An alpha level of 0.05 was used to determine statistical significance for each of these assumptions. A Factorial MANOVA, with a Welch t adjustment to account for unequal group cell numbers, was then conducted to determine if students in the three racial ethnic sub groups (Caucasian,
55 African American and Hispanic/Latino) display ed between gr oup differences on the psychoeducational adjustment (i.e., academic achievement, perceived stress, anxiety, depression) across the educational programs. If the Factorial MANOVA evidenced statistical differences, f ollow up (ANOVAs) using Tukey honestly sign ificant difference (HSD) test and Bonferroni adjustment s were conducted to d etermine which of the ed by a statistically significant amount. Research Question 5: To determine if there were racial ethnic differences in school climate perc eptions among student subgroups across the educational programs (i.e. the college preparatory program compared to the general education program), the means and standard deviations for each subgroup were calculated for each outcome indicator of school clim ate perception. T he assumptions underlying the MANOVA were then examined. Skewness and kurtosis were used to assess normality of the data. The was used to determine if the was homogeneity of co variance assumption was met The Mahalanobis dista nce value was used to examine the possible influence of individual observation s on the statistical result An alpha level of 0.05 was used to determine statistical significance for each of these assumptions. A Factorial MANOVA, with a Welch t adjustment to account for unequal group cell numbers, was then conducted to determine if students in the three racial ethnic sub groups (Caucasian, African American and Hispanic/Latino) display ed between group differences on the school climate perception (i.e., class mate support, student teacher relationships) across the educational programs. If the Factorial MANOVA evidenced statistical differences, f ollow up (ANOVAs) using Tukey honestly significant difference (HSD) test and
56 Bonferroni adjustment s, were conducted t o d etermine which of the differ ed by a statistically significant amou nt.
57 C h a p t e r I V Results The present study was designed to determine the program satisfaction, psychoeducational adjustments and school climate perceptions of Cauca sian and ethnic minority students who participate in college preparatory programs. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the results of the statistical analyses conducted for this study. F indings are presented by research question. Data Screening The entire sample consisted of 381 students in the college preparatory program and 156 in the general education program. Missing values resulted in different program numbers per question. Actual sample numbers will be reported per research question. Internal Consistency of Instruments Data on the internal consistency reliability of the measures used in this study are provided following an examination of the values for that were yielded for each multi item indicator For the psycho log ical indicators, the internal consistency : perceived stress = 0.88, anxiety = 0.71 and depression = 0.75. F or the school climate indicators: classmate support = 0.92 and student teacher relationsh ips = 0.89. All values exceed the 0.70 lower bound that Nunnally (1978) recommended as adequate internal consistency required for research purposes. Estimates of internal consistency reliability
58 could not be calculated for program satisfaction and GPA b ecause these two indicators consist of one item only. Analyses Conducted to Answer Specific Research Questions Research Question 1 : To what extent are students in college preparatory programs (IB and AP) who are from different ethnic backgrounds (specifica lly Caucasian, African American, Asian American and Hispanic/ Latino) satisfied with their college preparatory program? Mean s and standard deviations of program satisfaction ratings reported by the 381 participants across both IB and AP programs are pre sen ted in Table 2 T able 2 Means, Standard Deviations, Skewness and Kurtosis of Program Satisfaction by Racial Ethnic Subgroup _________________________________________________________ _____________ __ Program Satisfaction Score Group n M SD Skew Kurtosis Caucasian 253 3.94 0.77 0.94 1.66 Asian American African American Hispanic/ Latino 40 3.78 0.89 54 3.69 0.95 34 3.97 0.52 0.90 1.41 0.42 0.64 0.05 1.10 ______________________________________________________________ ________ __ N = 381 A cursory examination of Table 2 suggests that th e Hispanic/Latino and Caucasian students had a somewhat high er level of program satisfaction as compared to their other peers who were also in college preparatory programs. Considering the 5 point scale that participants used to rate their level of satisfa ction with their academic program, the mean
59 score for both the Hispanic/Latino Caucasian students corresponded to the response mean rating from participants in the other two minority race subgroups appears somewhat lowe r. To determine if the s e students belonging to the various ethnic/ racial groups evidenced statistically different levels of satisfaction with the college preparatory program, data were subjected to a one way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Prior to running the univariate analyses, the assumptions underlying the ANOVA were examined. Results of the Shapiro Wilk test revealed a violation of the normality assumption for each group. The Levene test indicated th at score distributions were heterogeneous across groups F (3, 377) = 6.51, p<.01 Thus, the homogeneity of variance assumption was violated. Since a large sample increases the likelihood that the ANOVA will be robust to violations of its assumptions, the r esearcher proceeded with further analyses. The results of this ANOVA are reported in Table 3 An alpha level of .05 was used to determine statistical significance. Table 3 Analysis of Variance of Program Satisfaction Scores by Racial Ethnic Subgroup Sourc e df SS MS F Race 3 3.67 1.22 1.94 Error 377 237.70 0.63 Total 380 241.37
60 Results of the ANOVA indicate that there was no statistically significant differences among the ethnic groups on the Program Satisfaction indicator F (3, 377) = 1.94, p = 0. 12. Students belonging to the different ethnic groups who participated in college preparatory program reported similar levels of satisfaction with their programs ; all mean scores were in the neutral to positive range of satisfaction for each subgroup of s tudents. Research Question 2: Are there differences among Caucasian, African American, Asian American and Hispanic/Latino students who participate in college preparatory programs on the following outcomes of psychoeducational adjustment: a. Academic Achieveme nt as measured by grade point average (GPA) b. Perceived stress c. Internalizing symptoms (anxiety, depression) of mental health problems? M eans and standard deviations for each racial/ethnic subgroup were computed for each outcome indicator of psychoeducationa l adjustment (n= 366; see Table 4). As is shown, although Asian American subgroup had a smaller sample size (n =39), the variances of that group were somewhat higher than the variance of the larger Caucasian group (n = the homogeneity of covariance assumption. To determine if the mean differences between subgroups were statistically significant, data were subjected to a multivariate analysis of variance ( t adjustment to account for unequal group ce ll sizes Prior to running the multivariate analyses, the assumptions underlying the MANOVA were examined. Data indicated that the multivariate skewness was not in the expected range for a sample drawn from a multivariate distribution [ b 1,p = 1.20 2 (20 N =366) = 74.00 p < .001] while the
61 Table 4 Means and Standard Deviations of Psychoeducational Adjustment Outcomes by Racial Ethnic Subgroup ______ ________ _______________ ________ __ Caucasian Asian American African American Hispanic/ Latino ( n =243) __ ( n = 39) ( n =50) (n=34 ) Adjustment Outcome M SD M SD M SD M SD ___________ Grade Point Average 3.90 a 0.50 4.10 a 0.43 3.62 b 0.56 3.93 ab 0.42 Perceived Stress 3.09 0.91 3.20 1.06 3.11 0.99 3.00 0.78 Anxiety 40.23 15.78 43.5 1 16.73 37.88 14.69 39.09 14.05 Depression 3.46 2.76 3.90 2.58 3.16 2.71 3.85 3.16 Note: Statistically significant differences between group means are indicated by different letters. Means having the same superscript are not significantly different. Means without a superscript are not significantly different from any group means. Tukey HSD comparis ons for significance was set at p =0.0125
62 mu ltivariate kurtosis was in the expected range expected [ b 2,p = 23.22, z upper = 1.08, z lower = 1.53]. Although skewness suggests deviation from multivariate normality, the MANOVA is relatively robust to such violations. nt [ 2 (20, N = 366) = 29.40, p =0.496]; therefore, evidence suggests that there are no statistically significant differences in the covariance matrices. The homogeneity of covariance assumption was met. Screening for the multivariate outliers suggested po ssible influence by one observation. A reanalysis without the outlier led to the same substantive conclusions, i.e. Mahalanobis distance of 15.56 [ F (4, 361) = 4.03, p = 0.003]. Based on the above analyses, it was deemed appropriate to conduct further anal yses using the MANOVA. Results of the MANOVA indicated that there was a significant overall difference between ethnic groups on psychoeducational adjustment ( =0.93, F (12, 950) = 2.31, p =.007). Multivariate effect size for racial/ethnic membersh ip on these psychoeducational adjustment outcomes was small ( 2 = .07). To assess for specific differences among the groups on specific outcomes, univariat e analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey HSD follow up tests were conducted for each psychoeducational adjustment variable. ANOVAs indicated differences among the ethnic groups only on the academic achievement variable, i.e. grade point average, F (3, 83.7) = 6.86, p sian American college preparatory program students demonstrated a statistically higher academic achievement level ( M = 4.10) than their African American college preparatory program peers ( M = 3.62). Likewise, Caucasian college preparatory students had a st atistically significant higher academic achievement level ( M = 3.90) than their African American peers ( M =
63 3.62). No statistically significant differences on academic achievement w ere observed among Asian American, Caucasian American or Hispanic/Latino co llege preparatory students. Research Question 3: Are there differences among Caucasian, African American, Asian American and Hispanic/Latino students who participate in college preparatory programs on the following indicators of school climate: a. Classmate support b. Student teacher relationships? Means and standard deviations for each outcome indicator of school climate for each subgroup were calculated. Descriptive statistics by subgroup are presented in Table 5. Deletion of cases with missing data for the sc hool climate indicators resulted in data from a total of 268 participants being used in the final analyses. As is shown, although Hispanic/Latino subgroup had a smaller sample size (n =20), the Student Teacher Relationships variance of that group was somew hat higher than the variance of the larger assumption. To determine if the mean differences between subgroups were statistically significant, data were subjected to a mu ltivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) with a t adjustment to account for unequal group sizes. Prior to running the multivariate analyses, the assumptions underlying the MANOVA were examined. Data indicated that the multivariate skewness was not in the expected range for a sample drawn from a
64 Table 5 Means and Standard Deviations of School Climate Indicators by Racial Ethnic Subgroup Caucasian Asian American A frican American Hispanic/ Latino ( n =165) ( n = 30) ( n =53) ( n =20) School Climate Ind icator M SD M SD M SD M SD ________________ Classmate Support 4.08 0.83 4.41 0.82 4.21 0.77 4.18 0.67 Student Teacher Relationships 3.71 0.61 3.79 0.62 3.55 0.63 3.61 0.80 Note: Statistically significant differences between g roup means are indicated by different letters. Means having the same superscript are not significantly different. Means without a superscript are not significantly different from any group means Tukey HSD comparisons for significance was set at p =0.0125.
65 multivariate distribution [ b 1,p = 0.47, 2 (4, N =268) = 21.25, p < .001], while the multivariate kurtosis was in the expected rang e [ b 2,p = 8.79, z upper = 1.62, z lower = 1.43]. Although skewness suggests deviation from multivariate normality, the MAN OVA is relatively robust to such violations. not significant [ 2 (9 N = 268) = 5.11 p =.823 ]; therefore, evidence suggests that there are no statistically significant differences in the covariance m atrices. The homogeneity of covaria nce assumption was met. Screening for the multivariate outliers suggested possible influence by one observation. A reanalysis without the outlier led to the same substantive conclusions, i.e. Mahalanobis distance of 14.57 [F (2, 265 ) = 7.68 p < 0.0 01 ]. Ba sed on the above analyses, it was deemed appropriate to conduct further analyses using the MANOVA. The significant correlation between dependent variables included in the MANOVA was 0.32. Results of the MANOVA indicated that there were no statistically si gnificant differences between the racial ethnic groups on the school climate variables specifically classmate support and student teacher relationships, =0.97, F (6,526) = 1.52, p = .17. Students belonging to the different ethnic groups who participated in college preparatory program perceived similarly high levels of classmate support and similarly positive relationships between themselves and their t eacher s (Table 5 ) For is the mean scores of teacher student relationships also corresponded to a rating value for just below the rating for a minimally positive endorsement of a caring, respectful and trus tful relationship between students and teachers.
66 Research Question 4 : Are there differences between Caucasian, African American and Hispanic/Latino students who participate in college preparatory programs compared to those who participate in general educ ation program on the following outcomes of psychoeducational adjustment: a. Academic Achievement as measured by grade point average ( GPA ) b. Perceived stress c. Internalizing symptoms (anxiety, depression) of mental health problems? M eans and standard deviations fo r each subgroup were calculated for each outcome indicator of psychoeducational adjustment Descriptive statistics by s ubgroup are presented in Table 6 Data from a total of 471 participants were analyzed, inclusive of Caucasian, African American and Hisp anic/ Latino students who were enrolled in either the college preparatory or general education programs, and who also responded to each indicator of interest. Data from Asian American participants in both programs were omitted from the dataset used in this set of analyses due to low numbers in one of the program subgroups. As is shown, although Hispanic/Latino subgroup had a smaller sample size, the variances of that group were somewhat higher than the variance of the s used to test the homogeneity of covariance assumption. D ata were subjected to a factorial multivariate analysis of variance (Factorial t adjustment to account for unequal group sizes Prior to running the multivariate analyses, the assumptions underlying the Factorial MANOVA were examined. Data indicated that the multivariate skewness was not in the expected
67 Table 6 Means and Standard Deviations of Psychoeducational Adjustment by Racial Ethnic Subgroup and Education Program Psychoeducational Adjustment Measures _______________________ GPA Perceived Stress Anxiety Depression Education Program n M SD M SD M SD M SD ____________ College Preparatory a Caucasian 244 3.89 a b c 0.52 3.09 0 .91 40.25 15.75 3.45 2.76 African American 50 3.62 a b d 0.56 3.11 0.99 37.88 14.69 3.16 2.71 Hispanic/Latino 34 3.93 0. 42 3.00 0.78 39.09 14.05 3.85 3.16 General Education b Caucasian 88 3.03 0.73 3.03 0.97 36.16 17.35 2.76 2.53 African American 27 2.60 0.75 2.74 0.92 38.96 13.21 3.81 2.65 Hispanic/ Latino 28 2.95 0.76 2.74 0.91 38.46 15.50 3.46 2.91 Note: Statistically significant differences between group means are indicated by different letters. Means having the same superscript are not significantly different. Means without a superscript are not significantly differen t from any group means. Tukey HSD comparisons for significance was set at p =0.0167
68 range for a sample drawn from a multivariate distribution [ b 1,p = 1.78 2 (20 N = 471) = 141.18 p <.001 while the multivariate kurtosis was in the expected range expected [ b 2,p = 24.32 z upper = 0.50 z lower = 0.10 ]. Although sk ewness suggests deviation from multivariate normality, the MANOVA is relatively robust to such violations. The M test was not significant [ 2 (20 N = 471) = 27.92 p =.11 ]; therefore evidence suggests that there are no statistically significant differences in the covariance matrices. The homogeneity of covariance assumption was met. Screening for the multivariate outliers suggested possible influence by one observation. A reanalysis without the outlier led to the same substantive conclusions, i.e., Mahalanobis distance of 15.75 [ F (4, 466) = 4.05, p = 0.003]. Based on the above analyses, it was deemed appropriate to conduct further analyses using MANOVA. Results of the Factorial MANOV A analyses of psychoeducational adjustment indicated that there were significant main effects for Race ( =0.94, F (8,924) = 3.78, p < .00 1 ) and Education Program Type ( =0.72, F (4,462) = 44.89, p <.001) but no significant Race X Education Program Type int eraction effect ( =0.97, F (8,924) = 1.54, p =.1 4 ). Multivariate effect size for racial/ethnic membership ( 2 = .06 ) and f or education program type ( 2 = .28) on these psychoeducational adjustment outcomes were small. Follow up testing of the significant mai n effects using ANOVA indicated these main effects were apparent only for grade point average F (5, 465) = 51.77, p <.001. Tukey HSD ( p = 0.01 7 ) revealed that students in the college preparatory program demonstrated higher academic achievement ( M = 3.85) than students in the general education program ( M = 2.93), and regardless of program, Caucasian American students demonstrated a
69 higher academic achievement level ( M = 3.66) than their African American peers ( M =3.26). Table 7 Univariate Analysis of Varia nce of Academic Achievement by Racial Ethnic Subgroup and Education Program Source df SS MS F Race (A) Education Program (B) 3 1 6.99 59.63 3.49 59.63 9.82* 167.70** A x B S/ AB (Error) 2 465 0.41 165.33 0.21 0.36 0.58 Total 470 232.36 **p<.001 Research Question 5 : Are there differences between Caucasian, African American and Hispanic/Latino students who participate in college preparatory programs compared to those who participate in the general education program on the follow ing indicators of school climate: a. Classmate support b. Student teacher relationships? M eans and standard deviations of school climate indicators classmate support and student teacher relationships for each subgroup were calculated. Descriptive statistics by s ubgroup are presented in Table 8 Data from a total of 314 participants were analyzed, inclusive of Caucasian, African American and Hispanic/ Latino students who were
70 Table 8 Means and Standard Deviations of School Climate Indicators by Racial Ethnic Sub group and Education Program School Climate Indicators ___________________________ _______ __________ Classmate Support Student Teacher Relationship Education Program n M SD M SD ____________ College Preparatory a Caucasian 165 4.08 0.83 3.71 a b c 0.61 African American 53 4.21 0.77 3.55 a b d 0.63 Hispanic/Latino 20 4.18 0.67 3.61 0.80 General Education b Caucasian 34 3.71 0.66 3.63 a bc 0.55 African American 20 4.32 0. 94 3.00 abd 1.12 Hispanic/ Latino 22 4.06 1.04 3.43 0.57 Note: Statistically significant differences between group means are indicated by different letters. Means having the same superscript are not significantly different. Means without a supersc ript are not significantly different from any group means. Tukey HSD comparisons for significance was set at p =0.0167
71 enrolled in either the college preparatory or general education programs, and also responded to each indicator of interest. Data from A sian American participants in both programs were omitted from the analyses due to low numbers in their respective subgroup samples. As is shown, although Hispanic/Latino subgroup had a smaller sample size, the variances of that group were somewhat higher t han the variance of the larger assumption. D ata were subjected to a factorial multivariate analysis of variance (Factorial t adjustment to account for uneq ual group sizes. Prior to running the multivariate analyses, the assumptions underlying the Factorial MANOVA were examined. Data indicated that the multivariate skewness was not in the expected range for a sample drawn from a multivariate distribution [ b 1, p = 0.46, 2 (4, N = 314) = 24. 57, p < .00 1], while the multivariate kurtosis was in the expected range [ b 2,p = 8.61, z upper = 1.36, z lower = 1.19]. 2 (6, N = 314) = 13.37, p =.038]; therefore, evidence suggests that ther e are statistically significant differences in the covariance m atrices. There is heterogeneity of covariance. Screening for the multivariate outliers suggested possible influence by one observation. A reanalysis without the outlier led to the same substant ive conclusions, i.e. Mahalanobis distance of 11.93 [ F (2, 311) = 6.18, p = 0.002]. significant and suggests non normality, the proposed analyses were run since the large sample size provides robustness against v iolations of assumptions. The significant correlation between dependent variables included in the MANOVA was 0. 29 Results of the Factorial MANOVA analyses of school climate
72 indicators indicated that there were significant main effects for Ra ce ( =0.90, F (4, 614) = 7.87, p <.00 1) and Education Program Type ( =0.98, F (2, 307) = 3.61, p =.0281) and a significant Race X Education Program Type interaction effect ( =0.96, F (4, 614)= 3.09, p=.016 ). Multivariate effect sizes for racial/ethnic membe rship ( 2 = .10) and of education program type ( 2 = .02) on these school climate indicators were small. Follow up of significant effect s was done using two way ANOVA s with education program type and race as independent variables and classmate support and student t eacher relationships as dependent measures in each analysis The Tukey HSD was used as the post hoc test at each level of the dependent variable. Results indicated that significant main effects (Table 9 ) were found only for the student teacher relationship variable, F (5, 308) = 4.55, p <.001 Of note, the univariate analysis conducted for the student teacher relationship variable did not support a significant Race X Education Program Type interaction, as the p value yielded in the analysis was .0823. Tuke = 0.0167) revealed that students in the college preparatory program perceived higher levels of a positive student teacher relationship ( M = 3.66) than students in the general education program ( M = 3.41), and Caucasian A merican students perceived higher levels of a positive student teacher relationship ( M = 3.69) than their African American peers ( M =3.40). For the classmate support variable, no significant main effects and no significant interaction effect (Table 10) were found F (5, 308) = 2.0 5 p =.07. = 0.0167) revealed that students from all racial/ethnic backgrounds and educational program types perceived similar levels of moderately positive support from classmates.
73 Table 9 Analysis of Variance of Student Teacher Relationship by Raci al Ethnic Subgroup and Education Program Source df SS MS F Race (A) Education Program (B) 2 1 6.06 3.14 3.03 3.14 6.96* 7.22* A x B S/ AB (Error) 2 308 2.19 134.09 1.09 0.44 2.52 Total 313 145.4 8 *p <.05 Table 10 Analysis of Variance of Classmate Support by Racial Ethnic Subgroup and Education Program Source df SS MS F Race (A) Education Program (B) 2 1 5.43 0.73 2.71 0.73 4.06 1.10 A x B S/ AB (Error) 2 308 2.33 205.92 1.16 0.67 1.74 Total 313 214 .4 1 *p <.05
74 C h a p t e r V Discussion Due to the growing student participation rates ( College Board, 2008c; IBO, 2006; IBO 2007e), increased attention has been focused on the nature of the school experiences of students in colleg e preparatory programs. Past studies indicate a range of student experiences from stress due to the coursework ( Taylor, Pogrebin & Dodge, 2002 ), to struggling to manage the intense academic pace (Taylor & Porath, 2006), to students presenting as well adju sted compared to peers in the less intensive general education program (Shaunessy et al., 2006 ). The current research is an attempt to further understand the extent to which participation in academically rigorous programs, such as IB and AP, particularly i mpacts students from racially diverse backgrounds. This study specifically examined the program satisfaction, school climate perceptions (relationships with peers and teachers), and psychoeducational adjustment (academic and mental health functioning) of C aucasian and minority race college preparatory students. Huebner and Gilman (2006) have posited that school satisfaction is closely linked to social emotional functioning. Findings in the current study indicate that similar levels of curriculum program satisfaction (i.e., one specific aspect of school satisfaction) exist among racially diverse college preparatory students. Moreover, the average scores reported by various ethnic/racial groups indicate some ambivalence regarding program satisfact ion. Specifically, since average scores corresponded to just at or below the rating
75 needed (perhaps via qualitative methods or a survey with multiple items loading o n this indicator) to gain a richer understanding of what aspects of the college preparatory program are particularly satisfying (e.g. varied courses, the academic challenge or knowledgeable teaching staff) as well as those aspects that are perceived less p ositively. Regardless, the current study suggests that the typical student in a college preparatory curriculum is satisfied with his/her academic program. In this exploratory study, college preparatory students evidenced significantly higher lev els of academic achievement compared to students in the general education program. This is not surprising given the fact that initial entry into college preparatory programs required high academic caliber (e.g. Riverview High School, 2008), and a weightin g procedure is used to yield higher grade point averages for college preparatory coursework that is completed successfully. Within the college preparatory program, both Asian American and Caucasian students academically outperformed their African American peer s. Moreover, ethnic group membership and academic achievement was found to be a significant indicator of achievement independent of education program. Specifically, Caucasian and Asian American students were generally found to have superior academic pe rformance compared to African American students. However, the academic performance of Hispanic/Latino students was not observed to be any different from their racially diverse peers, whether the peers were from within the same education program or from a d ifferent education program. The lack of statistical significance for Hispanic/Latino students may be due to comparatively low sample numbers, as trends evident in sample means suggest that Hispanic/Latino students were achieving at a level more similar to Caucasian students than African American students. The higher
76 academic achievement obtained by Asian Americans and Caucasian students relative to their African American peers is consistent with prior research. National and state level data available for these students indicates that Asian American and Caucasian students have been consistently outperforming their African American peers (College Board, 2008c). Present support for this performance disparity among a sample of high school students in Florida provides support for calls for focused research on the relative academic underperformance of African American students ( Fisher, 2000; Ford, 1996; Perry, Hilliard, & Steele, 2004). With regard to mental health, no differentiation on levels of stress, depre ssive symptomology, or anxiety as a function of racial background or the intensity of the education program was observed. The findings thus indicate that compared to their Caucasian college preparatory peers, students from minority race backgrounds evidenc e similar levels of stress and psychopathology. Furthermore, college preparatory minority race students do not experience significantly higher or lower levels of stress or psychopathology than their same race general education peers, even though they are in a more academically intensive program; a finding that perhaps provides a positive response academic and mental health outcomes. However, these results differ fro m Suldo, and AP as a singular college preparatory entity versus Suldo and colleag IB competence does indeed buffer emotional distress.
77 Research has shown that relationships with teachers and peers (Osterman, 2002; Wentzel, 1998) are im being. Current findings indicate that regardless of their racial background, students within the college preparatory program perceived similarly high levels of support from both their teacher and their classmates. A cross educa tional program examination revealed that college preparatory students collectively perceived significantly more positive and healthier relationships with their teachers than their general education counterparts perceived. Such perceptions may exist due to inherent features of the IB and AP programs such as highly skilled, well trained teachers, teacher expectations for high student academic standards, as well as the emphasis on encouraging critical thinking skills by students; all of which foster healthy in teractions among the students and teachers. These elements may thus have led the college preparatory students to believe teachers value them and promote their academic engagement (Gershoff & Aber, 2006; Mayer, Mullens & Moore, 2000; Osterman, 2002). Inter estingly, when race was considered independent of the education program, Caucasian American students perceived a significantly higher level of caring, respect and trust from their teachers than their African American peers indicated. An examination of gro up means revealed a trend for this difference to be less apparent among the students in college preparatory programs. It is unknown if the type of questions asked on the Student Teacher subscale of the School Climate Survey are culturally relevant, in tha t the questions may or may not fully capture how African American students would define a positive teacher student relationship W ith th e trend of ethnic group differences in perceived student teacher relations being less apparent within the college prepar atory program, this finding may reflect advantages in teacher quality and training in
78 academically advanced programs versus general public education programs. In sum, the current study suggests that the disparity between Caucasian American and African Amer teacher relations may be less pronounced among student in college preparatory programs, such that African American students in general education are at greater risk for perceiving less positive student teacher relation ships relative to their Caucasian peers; however, additional studies with larger samples of students are needed to confirm if this trend is reliable (i.e., statistically significant). In the current study, classmate support was not found to be distinct am ong any specific racial group or in the cross education program comparison. Instead, students from all racial/ethnic backgrounds and educational programs perceived a moderately positive level of support from their classmates. This finding is consistent wi th work by Kyburg (2006) who observed that racially, linguistically, culturally and economically diverse students collectively reported supportive peers in their AP and IB classes. Given the particularly extensive research on the school experiences of Afri can American students (Benton Lee, 2006 ; Carter, 2005, Hemmings, 1996) this current finding of the supportive ness of peers thus adds fodder to the continuing discourse regarding the true nature of peer relations (i.e., support versus no support) for Afric an American students who pursue advanced academic coursework (see also Ford, 2002; Tyson et al., 2005).
79 C onclusion academic and emotional functioning, this exploratory study suggests that most college preparatory program students from racially diverse backgrounds are satisfied with their or better) and are not experiencing elevated levels o f psychopathology due to participation in this academically intensive program. Educators, school support staff and parents interested in promotion of these advanced high school curricula may thus tentatively conclude that, beyond the academic benefits that have been established in past research, college preparatory programs also do not engender mental ill health in terms of symptoms of stress, anxiety, and/or depression In addition to its association with good psychoeducational adjustment, participation i n college preparatory programs is also positively linked to healthy student teacher and intact student peer relationships. Given the academic intensity of college preparatory programs, such interpersonal relations are key since teachers keenly influence a while peers relations are closely linked to emotional well being (Wentzel, 1998). As such, it appears that college preparatory programs, such as IB and AP, are indeed associated with optimal psychoeducational f unctioning (Roeser & Eccles, 2000). Future Directions The findings of the current study suggest that, regardless of their racial ethnic background, participation in college preparatory programs is advantageous for all students. In the particular case of African American students, such positive psychological and school climate outcomes bode well for their growing participation in college
80 preparatory programs since research has indicated that an academically intensive high school experience is paramount to their success in college (Adelman, 1999; 2006; Conley, 2005). However, any definitive conclusions should be tempered by the following considerations. Participation in IB and AP programs was collapsed together and studied as one entity. Although there are many program similarities such as academic rigor and financial benefits (Stanford University, 2008), IB and AP are indeed two distinct advanced high school programs with different governance. As such, future research on college preparatory programs should consider examining these programs separately, experiences. Analyses were performed on an archival data set that included very unequal numbers of students from differ ent racial/ethnic subgroups. However, the participation rates by racial group s in the current study were comparable to participation rates at the state and national levels (College Board, 2008k; IBO, 2007h, U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). Since past research ha d been conducted primarily with Caucasian students, their inclusion in the current study as a comparison group provided an opportunity to further knowledge of student experiences in college preparatory programs ( Shaunessy, et al., 2006; Taylor & Porath, 20 06 ). Future research examining student experiences per distinct college preparatory program should also include the various racially representative percentages comparable to national participation rates in the IB and AP programs. The v arious race group means for program satisfaction were in a range just below the established link
81 between school satisfaction and mental health/ wellness (Huebner & Gilman, 2006) and between po sitive valuation of school and mental health (Roeser et al., 2001), it may be worthwhile to further explore a broader definition of program satisfaction than the single item question employed in this archival data study. For instance, it may be useful to a dapt the School subscale of the ; program, prior to any examinations of its link to socio emotional functioning. T he absence of significantly high levels of stress, anxiety and depressive symptomology among college preparatory students regardless of race is an intriguing finding given some past research that suggested challenges such as isolation and loneliness among high achieving African American students (Ford, 2002), and test anxiety among Asian American students (Wing, 2007). A more thorough understanding of the presence/absence of mental health problems among racial diverse college preparatory students may be ach ieved through qualitative procedures (e.g., focus groups; Tyson et al., 2005; Wing, 2007). For instance, g iven the insightful findings from prior on the coping strat egies of the various diverse students in each distinct college preparatory program. For instance, what specifically are these students doing that is preventing the development of mental ill health, and do these activities differ by the distinct program or racial grouping? Such information would provide educators and concerned parents with a wide repertoire of individualized strategies that they can recommend to support the academic prowess of their students.
82 Limitations The findings of this study are limited by the use of secondary data. In the initial collection of the data, the current research questions were not of prime interest. As such, college preparatory and general education students from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds were n ot aggressively recruited to ensure a more equal balance of participants. Likewise, the specific response rates of each high school site are unknown. The Principal Investigators and their research team were directly involved in the data collection at one h igh school site. At the other three sites, participant recruitment and data collection were undertaken by the school based IB coordinators. As such, the reason for the poor response rate is believed to be related to a lack of direct involvement by the Prin cipal Investigators. Likewise, the majority of the sample consists of female participants (approx. two thirds) and those who can be categorized into an average to high socioeconomic status. Thus, the influence of gender and socioeconomic status on the vari ables of interest is relatively unknown. It is not known how many AP courses students in the general education program may have taken or how many general education students took some AP courses. As such, the extent to which participation in a limited num ber of AP courses may have impacted the academic achievement (i.e., grade point average), the perceptions of program satisfaction, perceived stress, and school climate (i.e., classmate support and teacher student relationships) of students in the general e ducation program is unknown. Another limitation is the use of the YSR Withdrawn/ Depressed subscale as the measure of depressive symptomology. This subscale does not diagnose depression nor fully capture the symptomology range considered in the DSM classi fications of
83 symptoms of depression as a mental health problem is limited. Likewise, the assessment of stress, anxiety and depression reflects the one specific moment of time in the data collection process. As such, the degree to which the findings of this study may be influenced by a state versus trait occurrence of stress, anxiety and depression among the respondents is unknown. Delimitations The findings of this study may be generalized to Caucasian students and students from racial and ethnic minority groups who have participated in the International Ba ccalaureate Diploma program, Advanced Placement program and the general education track within the state of Florida. The findings cannot be generalized to students who are participating in other college preparatory programs (i.e. Dual Credit, and Multidisciplinary) or who reside in other states.
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92 Northern Illinois University Psychology Department. M alecki C. K., & D emaray M. K. (2002). M easu ring perceived social support: D evelopment of the child and adoles cent social support scale (CASSS ) Psychology in the Schools 39 (1), 1 18. March, J. (1997). Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children San Antonio, TX: Pearson Education Inc. Martinez, R. S., & Semrud Clikeman, M. (2004). Emotional adjustment and school functioning of young adole scents with multiple versus single learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities 37 (5), 411 420. Mayer, D. P., Mullens, J. E., & Moore, M. T. (2000). Monitoring school quality: An indicators report (NCES 2001 03). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Miramar High School (2008). Miramar high school: Advanced placement program Retrieved July 22, 2008 from http://www.broward.k12.fl.us /miramarhigh/pages/approgram.html Muris, P. (2001). A brief questionnaire for measuring self efficacy in youths. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 32, 145 149. National Center for Education Statistics (2007a). The condition o f education: Special Analysis 2007: High school course taking: Table SA 2 Retrieved July 19, 2008 from http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/2007/analysis /sa_table.asp?tableID=820 National Center for Education Statistics (2007b). The condition of education: Special Analysis 2007: High school course taking: Table 3 Retrieved December 1, 2008 from http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/2007/analysis/sa_table.asp?tableID=853
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94 Riverview High School (2008). Riverview Internati onal Baccalaureate: Admission requirements by grade level: IB 11 th grade entrance criteria Retrieved July 22, 2008 from http://www.riverviewib.com/admission.htm Roeser, R. W., Eccle s, J. S., & Strobel, K. R. (1998). Linking the study of schooling and mental health: Selected issues and empirical illustrations at the level of the individual. Educational Psychologist, 33 (4), 153 176. Roeser, R. W., & Eccles, J. S. (20 00). Schooling and mental health. In M. Lewis., A. J. Sameroff & S. M. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of developmental psychopathology (pp. 135 156). New York, NY: Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers. Roeser, R. W., Eccles, J. S., & Sameroff, A. J. (2000). Sc hool as a context of early emotional development: A summary of the research findings. The Elementary School Journal, 100 (5), 443 471. Sadowski, M. (2001). Closing the gap one school at a time. Harvard Education Letter. Retrieved June 7, 2008, from http://www.edletter.org/past/issues/2001 mj/gap.shtml Seminole High School (2008). International baccalaureate (I B) program at Seminole high school: Application Retrieved July 22, 2008 from http://www.seminolehs.scps.k12.fl.us/IB/ibapp.htm Shaunessy, E., Suldo, S. M., Hardesty, R.B., & Shaffer, E. J. (2006). School functioning and psychological well being of international baccalaureate and general education students: a preliminary examination. The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 27 76 89. Smedley, A. (2007). Race in North America Boulder, CO: Westview Press, Inc.
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97 A ppendices
98 Appendix A : Demographics Form Code # _________________ Fall 2006 School ________________ Birthdate _____ _____ _____ (month) (day) (year) PLEASE READ EACH QUESTION AND CIRCLE ONE ANSWER PER QUESTION: 1. I am in grade: 9 10 11 12 2. My gender is: Male Female 3. Do you receive free or reduced lunch? Yes No 4. Which school program are you in? IB AP Traditional 5. My race/ethnic identity is: a. American Indian or Alaska Native e. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander b. Asian f. White c. Black or African American g. Multi racial (please spec ify):______ _______ d. Hispanic or Latino h. Other (please specify):___________________ a. 8 th grade or less e. College/university de gree b. Some high school, did not complete c. High school diploma/GED g. Doctoral level degree (Ph.D, M.D.) or other d. Some college, did not complete a. 8 th grade or less e. College/university degree b. Some high school, did not complete c. High school diploma/GED g. Doctoral level degree (Ph.D, M. D.) or other d. Some college, did not complete degree 8. About how long does it take you to travel from your house to school each mo rning? _____hrs _____mins 9. How much did each person influence your choice of high school program (AP, IB, traditional, etc.)? Not at All Not Much Some A Lot Entirely Self (own desires/goals) 1 2 3 4 5 Parent/guardian(s) 1 2 3 4 5 Brother/sister(s) 1 2 3 4 5 Teacher(s) 1 2 3 4 5 School Counselor/Advisor(s) 1 2 3 4 5 Friend(s) 1 2 3 4 5 Other: ___________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagr ee Disagree Not Sure Agree Strongly Agree 10. I am satisfied with my school program (e.g., IB, AP, traditional, etc.) 1 2 3 4 5
99 A ppendix B: Perceived Stress Scale The next questions ask you about your feelings and thoughts during the last month In e ach case, you will be asked to indicate how often you felt or thought a certain way. Although some of the questions are similar, there are differences between them and you should treat each one as a separate question. The best approach is to answer each question fairly quickly. I I n n t t h h e e l l a a s s t t m m o o n n t t h h , h h o o w w o o f f t t e e n n h h a a v v e e y y o o u u Never Almost never Sometim es Fairly often Very often unexpectedly? 1 2 3 4 5 tant things in your life? 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 you had to do? 1 2 3 4 5 t happened that were outside of your control? 1 2 3 4 5 6. felt difficulties were piling up so h igh that you could not overcome them? 1 2 3 4 5
100 A ppendix C: Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale Next, please respond to sentences about some form of support or help that you might get from classmates. Read each sentence carefully and respond to them honestly. Rate how often you receive the support described Do not skip any sentences. Thank you! My Classmates: Never Almost Never Some of the Ti me Most of the Time Almost Always Always 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 4. to do. 1 2 3 4 5 6 5. so I can learn new things. 1 2 3 4 5 6 6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. something well. 1 2 3 4 5 6 8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 12. 1 2 3 4 5 6
101 Appendix D: Informed Consent to Parents Dear Parent or Legal Guardian: Th school by professors and graduate students from the University of South Florida. Our goal in ation in various high school classes, such as Advanced Placement, the International Baccalaureate Program, and general courses, on their social and emotional wellness Who We Are : We are Elizabeth Shaunessy, Ph.D., and Shannon Suldo, Ph.D., professors in the College of Education at the University of South Florida (USF). We are planning the study in cooperation with school administrators to ensure the study provides information that will be helpful to the school. ticipation : This study is being conducted as part of to participate because he or she is a student at a high school that contains an advanced curriculum (for exa mple, an International Baccalaureate Program) Why Your Child Should Participate : We need to learn more about what leads to happiness and health during the teenage years! The information that we collect from students may help increase our overall kno wledge of risk and protective factors that lead to social and emotional wellness during high school. In addition, information from the study will be shared with the teachers and administrators at your high school in order to increase their knowledge of wh at students consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of their schooling and other life experiences. Information from this study will provide a foundation from which to improve the schooling experiences and well being of high school students. Please not e neither you who participate will be entered into a drawing for one of several gift certificates in the amount of $50 that will be redeemable at a local mall What Participation Requires : If your child is given permission to participate in the study, he or she will be asked to complete several paper and pencil questionnaires. These surveys will ds school, teachers, classmates, family, and life in general. We will personally administer the questionnaires on school grounds during regular school hours, to large groups of students who have parent permission to participate. Participation will occur during one class period, on one occasion during the fall for students in 10 th 11 th and 12 th grade. For these students, participation will take approximately one hour. Students who will be in 9 th grade during the 2006 2007 school year will be asked to complete these questionnaires shortly before entering high school and again during the fall. For these students, participation will take a total of approximately two Specifically, under the supervision of school administrators, we will access information about classes such as Advanced Placement, the International Baccalaurea te Program, or special education (for example, Gifted education).
102 Please Note : Your decision to allow your child to participate in this research study must be completely voluntary. You are free to allow your child to participate in this research study or to withdraw him or her at any time. If you choose not to participate, or if you withdraw at any point during the study, this will in no way affect your relationship with your high school, school district, USF, or any other party. Confidentiality of : There is minimal risk to your child for participating in this research. We will be present during administration of the questionnaires in order to provide assistance to your child if he or she has any questions or concerns. Addi tionally, school guidance counselors will be available to students in the unlikely event privacy and research records will be kept confidential to the extent of th e law. Authorized research personnel, employees of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the USF Institutional Review Board may inspect the records from this research project but your system personnel or anyone other code number to protect the confidentiality of his or her responses. Only we will have access to the locked file cabinet stored at USF that will contain: 1) all records linking code numbers staff if your child indicates that he or she intends to harm him or herself or is a threat to as the safety of others. : We plan to use the information from this study to inform educators and psychologists about the effects of various high school being, as well as to construct a plan for improving the schooling experiences that impact so cial and emotional wellness during adolescence. The results of this study may be published. However, the data obtained from your child will be combined with data from other people in the publication. The published results will not e or any other information that would in any way personally identify your child. Questions? If you have any questions about this research study, please contact us at (813) 974 2223 (Dr. Suldo) or (813) 974 7007 (Dr. Shaunessy). If you have questions ab out your the Division of Research Integrity and Compliance of the University of South Florida at 813 974 9343. Want Your Child to Participate ? To permit your child to participate in this study, complete the attached consent form and have your child turn it in to his or her first period teacher. Sincerely, Elizabeth Shaunessy, Ph.D. Shannon Suldo, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Special Educ ation Assistant Professor of School Psychology Department of Special Education Department of Psychological and Social Foundations
103 Consent for Child to Take Part in this Research Study I freely give my permission to let my child take part i n this study. I understand that this is research. I have received a copy of this letter and consent form for my records. ________________________ ________________ _____ _________ Printed name of child Grade level of child H igh school ________________________________ _______________________ ______ Signature of parent Printed name of parent Date of child taking part in the study Statement of Person Obtaining Informed Consent I certify that parti cipants have been provided with an informed consent form that has been nature, demands, risks, and benefits involved in participating in this study. I further c ertify that a phone number has been provided in the event of additional questions. ____________________ ______________________ __________ Signature of person Printed name of person Date obtaining consent obtaining con sent
104 Appendix E: Student Assent Dear Student: Today you will be asked to take part in a research study by filling out several surveys. We are doing the study to find out how taking different high school classes, such as Adva nced Placement, the International Baccalaureate Program, and general courses, is related to social and emotional wellness Who We Are : We are Elizabeth Shaunessy, Ph.D., and Shannon Suldo, Ph.D., professors in the College of Education at the University of South Florida. We are working with your principals to make sure this study provides information that will be helpful to your school. Being of Seco or will be, a student at a high school that contains an advanced curriculum (for example, the International Baccalaureate Program). Why You Should Take Part in the Study : We need to learn more about what leads to happiness and health during the teenage years! The information that we gather may help us better understand which attitudes within teens as well as which experiences at school lead to emotional wellness during h igh school. Also, information from this study will be shared with school staff to help them understand what students consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of their experiences at school and in life. Please note you will not be paid for taking part i n the study. However, all students who participate will be entered into a drawing for one of several $50 gift certificates that can be used at a local mall F F i i l l l l i i n n g g O O u u t t t t h h e e S S u u r r v v e e y y s s : : T T h h e e s s e e s s u u r r v v e e y y s s w w i i l l l l a a s s k k a a b b o o u u t t y y o o u u r r t t h h o o u u g g h h t t s s , b b e e h h a a v v i i o o r r s s , a a n n d d a a t t t t i i t t u u d d e e s s t t o o w w a a r r d d s s s s c c h h o o o o l l , t t e e a a c c h h e e r r s s , c c l l a a s s s s m m a a t t e e s s , f f a a m m i i l l y y , a a n n d d l l i i f f e e i i n n g g e e n n e e r r a a l l . W W e e e e x x p p e e c c t t i i t t w w i i l l l l t t a a k k e e b b e e t t w w e e e e n n 3 3 0 0 a a n n d d 6 6 0 0 m m i i n n u u t t e e s s t t o o f f i i l l l l o o u u t t a a l l l l t t h h e e s s u u r r v v e e y y s s . Participation will occur during one class period, on one occasion during the fall for students in 10 th 11 th and 12 th grade. Students who will be in 9 th grade during the 2006 2007 school year will be asked to complete these surveys shortly before entering high school and again during the fall. In total, participation will take up to one hour for students in grad es 10, 11, and 12, and up to two hours for students in 9 th grade. What Else Will Happen if You Are in the Study : If you choose to take part in the study, we will look at some of your school records. Under the supervision of school administrators, we wi ll access information about your grade point average, discipline record, and whether or not you take special classes such as Advanced Placement, the International Baccalaureate Program, or special education (for example, Gifted). Confidentiality (Privac y) of Your Responses : We do not expect that t here will be more than minimal risk to you for taking part in this research. We will be here to help the entire time you are filling out the surveys in case you have any questions or concerns. Your school gui dance counselors are also on hand in case you become upset Your privacy and research records will be kept confidential (private, secret) to the extent of the law. People approved to
105 do research at USF, people who work for the Department of Health and Human Services, and the USF Institutional Review Board may look at the records from this research project but your individual responses will not be shared with people in the school system or anyone other than us and our research assistants. Your completed surveys will be given a code number to protect the privacy of your responses. Only we will have access to the locked file cabinet stored at USF that will contain: 1) all records linking code numbers to names, and 2) all informat ion gathered from school records. Please note that although your specific responses will not be shared with school staff, if you indicate you plan to harm yourself or that you are a threat to others, we will contact district mental health counselors to en sure your safety as well as the safety of others. Please Note : Your involvement in this study is completely voluntary. By signing this form, you are agreeing to take part in this research. If you choose not to participate, or if you wish to stop taking part in the study at any time, you will not be punished in any way. If you choose not to participate, it will not affe ct your relationship with your high school USF, or anyone else. : We plan to use the information f rom this study to let wellness, and to make a plan for improving schooling experiences during the high school years. The results of this study may be published. How ever, your responses will be combined with responses from other people in the publication. The published results will not include your name or any other information that would in any way identify you. Questions? If you have any questions about this rese arch study, please raise your hand now or at any point during the study. Also, you may contact us later at (813) 974 2223 (Dr. Suldo) or (813) 974 7007 (Dr. Shaunessy). If you have questions about your rights as a person who is taking part in a research study, you may contact a member of the Division of Research Integrity and Compliance of the University of South Florida at 813 974 5638 or the Florida Department of Health, Review Council for Human Subjects at 1 850 245 4585 or toll free at 1 866 433 2775. Thank you for taking the time to take part in this study. Sincerely, Elizabeth Shaunessy, Ph.D. Shannon Suldo, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Special Education Assistant Professor of School Psychology Department of Special Education De pt. of Psychological and Social Foundations --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Assent to Take Part in this Research Study I freely give my permission to take part in this s tudy. I understand that this is research. I have received a copy of this letter and assent form for my records. ________________________ ________________________ ____________ Signature of child Printed name of child Date taking part in the stud y
106 Statement of Person Obtaining Informed Assent I certify that participants have been provided with an informed assent form that has been nature, demands, risks and benefits involved in participating in this study. I further certify that a phone number has been provided in the event of additional questions. ________________________ ________________________ ___________ Signature of p erson Printed n ame of perso n Date obtaining assent obtaining assent