Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 153–173 | Cite as

Developing an Additive Risk Model for Predicting Academic Index: School Factors and Academic Achievement



The impact of school factors on academic achievement has become an important focus for identifying, preventing, and intervening with youth at-risk for academic failure. This study was designed to develop and test a more comprehensive school factor risk index. Specifically, the relationship between cumulative grade point average (GPA) and an additive risk index (ARI) were tested and an analysis of the index is presented. School factors that been shown in previous research to impact academic achievement were tested. Those factors were included in the final risk index if they met the criteria of (1) having a correlation with GPA, (2) containing a difference in outcomes between the risk and non-risk groups, and (3) making a unique contribution to the overall index. The risk and protective factors included in the creation of the ARI were attendance, academic self-efficacy, academic expectations, grade retention, music instruction, and school behaviors. The interplay between risk and protective factors was shown to have a significant relationship with GPA.


Additive risk index Academic achievement Social work Cumulative grade point average School factors 


  1. Abu-Hilal, M. M. (2000). A structural model of attitudes towards school subjects, academic aspiration and achievement. Educational Psychology, 20(1), 76–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alpert, G., & Dunham, R. (1986). Keeping academically marginal youths in school: A prediction model. Youth & Society, 17(4), 346–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aviles, A. A., Anderson, T. R., & Davila, E. R. (2006). Child and adolescent social-emotional development within the context of school. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 11(1), 32–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  5. Bang, H. J., Suarez-Orozco, C., Pakes, J., & O’Connor, E. (2009). The importance of homework in determining immigrant students’ grades in schools in the USA context. Educational Research, 51(1), 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beacon, D. R., & Bean, B. (2006). GPA in research studies: An invaluable but neglected opportunity. Journal of Marketing Education, 28(1), 35–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bergin, C., & Bergin, D. (2009). Attachment in the classroom. Educational Psychology Review, 21(2), 141–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Beverly, S. G. (2001). Material hardship in the United States: Evidence from a survey of income and program participation. Social Work Research, 25(3), 143–151.Google Scholar
  9. Bowen, N. K. (2006). Psychometric properties of the elementary school success profile. Social Work Research, 30(1), 51–63.Google Scholar
  10. Bowen, G. L., & Richman, J. M. (2002). Schools in the context of communities. Children & Schools, 24(2), 67.Google Scholar
  11. Bowen, G. L., & Richman, J. M. (2005). The school success profile. Chapel Hill: Jordan Institute for Families, School of Social Work, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Google Scholar
  12. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1994). Ecological models of human development. In T. Husten & T. N. Postelthwaite (Eds.), International encyclopedia of education (Vol. 3) (2nd ed., pp. 1643–1647). New York: Elsevier science.Google Scholar
  14. Burchinal, M., Roberts, J. E., Zeisel, S. A., Hennon, E. A., & Hooper, S. (2006). Social risk and protective child, parenting, and child care factors in early elementary school years. Parenting: Science and Practice, 6(1), 79–113.Google Scholar
  15. Caldas, S. J., & Bankston, C. L. III., (1999). Multilevel examination of student, school, and district-level effects on academic achievement. Journal of Educational Research, 93(2), 91–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Catalano, R. F., Berglund, M. L., Ryan, J. A. M., Lonczak, H. S., & Hawkins, J. D. (2004). Positive youth development in the United States: Research findings on evaluations of positive youth development programs. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591(1), 98–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Center for the Study of Social Policy. (1986). Preventing teenage pregnancy: A literature review. Washington, DC: The Center for the Study of Social Policy.Google Scholar
  18. Cooper, H., Lindsay, J. J., Nye, B., & Greathouse, S. (1998). Relationships among attitudes about homework, amount of homework assigned and completed, and student achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90(1), 70–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dandy, J., & Nettelbeck, T. (2002). A cross-cultural study of parents’ academic standards and educational aspirations for their children. Educational Psychology, 22(5), 621–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Demie, F. (2002). Pupil mobility and educational achievement in schools: An empirical analysis. Educational Research, 44(2), 197–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dulmus, C. N., & Rapp-Pagglicci, L. A. (2004). Prevention and resilience. In L. A. Rapp-Pagglicci, C. N. Dulmus, & J. S. Wodarski (Eds.), Handbook of prevention interventions for children and adolescents. Hoboken. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Google Scholar
  22. Dunn, M. C., Kadane, J. B., & Garrow, J. R. (2003). Comparing harm done by mobility and class absence: Missing students and missing data. Journal of Educational Behavior and Statistics, 28(3), 269–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Eamon, M. K. (2002). Effects of poverty on mathematics and reading achievement of young adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence, 22(1), 49–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Evans, S. W. (1999). Mental health services in schools: Utilization, effectiveness, and consent. Clinical Psychology Review, 19(2), 165–178.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Finn, J. D. (2006). The adult lives of at-risk students: The roles of attainment and engagement in high school. US Department of Education, Washington, DC: National Center for Educational Statistics.Google Scholar
  26. Finn, J. D., Gerber, S. B., & Boyd-Zaharias, J. (2005). Small classes in the early grades, academic achievement, and graduating from high school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97(2), 214–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fitzpatrick, K. R. (2006). The effect of instrumental music participation and socioeconomic status on Ohio fourth-, sixth-, and ninth-grade proficiency test performance. JRME, 54(1), 73–84.Google Scholar
  28. Fraser, M. W., Richman, J. M., & Galinsky, M. J. (1999). Risk, protection, and resilience: Toward a conceptual framework for social work practice. Social Work Research, 23(3), 131–143.Google Scholar
  29. Gardner, P. W., Ritblatt, S. N., & Beatty, J. R. (2000). Academic achievement and parental school involvement as a function of high school size. The High School Journal, 83(2), 21–27.Google Scholar
  30. Gutman, L. M., Sameroff, A. J., & Cole, R. (2003). Academic growth curve trajectories from 1st grade to 12th grade: Effects of multiple social risk factors and preschool child factors. Developmental Psychology, 39(4), 777–790.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hinnant, J. B., O’Brien, M., & Ghazarian, S. R. (2009). The longitudinal relations of teacher expectations to achievement in the early school years. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(3), 662–670.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jimerson, S. R., Egeland, B., Sroufe, L. A., & Carlson, B. (2000). A prospective longitudinal study of high school dropouts: Examining multiple predictors across development. Journal of School Psychology, 38(6), 525–549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kellow, J. T., & Jones, B. D. (2008). The effects of stereotypes on the achievement gap: Reexamining the academic performance of African American high school students. Journal of Black Psychology, 34(1), 94–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kennedy, A. C., & Bennett, L. (2006). Urban adolescent mothers exposed to community, family, and partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 21(6), 750–773.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kinard, E. M. (2001). Perceived and actual academic competence in maltreated children. Child Abuse and Neglect, 25, 33–45.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Klem, A. M., & Connell, J. P. (2004). Relationships matter: Linking teacher support to student engagement and achievement. Journal of School Health, 74(7), 262–273.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Konstantopoulos, S. K. (2006). Trends of school effects on student achievement: Evidence from NLS:72, HSB:82, and NELS:92. Teachers College Record, 108(12), 2550–2581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Laird, J., DeBell, M., & Chapman, C. (2006). Dropout rates in the United States: 2004, NCES 2007–024. Washington, DC: National Center for Educational Statistics.Google Scholar
  39. Luthar, S. S. (1991). Vulnerability and resilience: A study of high risk adolescents. Child Development, 62, 600–616.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Luthar, S. S., & Zelazo, B. L. (2003). Research on resilience: An integrative review. In S. S. Luthar (Ed.), Resilience and vulnerability: Adaptation in the context of childhood adversities (pp. 511–549). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Marsh, H. W., Martin, A. J., & Cheng, J. H. S. (2008). A multi-level perspective on gender in classroom motivation and climate: Potential benefits of male teachers for boys? Journal of Educational Psychology, 100(1), 78–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Masten, A. S., & Coatsworth, J. D. (1998). The development of competence in favorable and unfavorable environments: Lessons from research on successful children. American Psychologist, 53, 205–220.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Masten, A. S., & Obradovic, J. (2006). Competence and resilience in development. In B. M. Lester, A. S. Masten, & B. McEwen (Eds.), Resilience in children (Vol. 1094 (pp. 13–27). Boston: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  44. Masten, A. S., & Powell, J. L. (2003). A resilience framework for research, policy, and practice. In S. S. Luthar (Ed.), Resilience and vulnerability: Adaptation in the context of childhood adversities (pp. 1–25). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mullis, R. L., Rathge, R., & Mullis, A. K. (2003). Predictors of academic performance during early adolescence: A contextual view. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 27(6), 54–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Muris, P. (2001). A brief questionnaire for measuring self-efficacy in youths. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 23(3), 145–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Murray, C., & Malmgren, K. (2005). Implementing a teacher–student relationship program in a high-poverty urban school: Effects on social, emotional, and academic adjustment and lessons learned. Journal of School Psychology, 43, 137–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Obradovic, J., Long, J. D., Cutuli, J. J., Chan, C.-K., Hinz, E., Heistad, D., et al. (2009). Academic achievement of homeless and highly mobile children in a urban school district: Longitudinal evidence on risk, growth, and resilience. Development and Psychopathology, 21(2), 493–518.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Perie, M., Grigg, W., & Dion, G. (2005). The nation’s report card: Mathematics 2005 (NCES 2006–453). Washington, DC: US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, US Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  50. Powers, J. D., Bowen, G. L., & Rose, R. A. (2005). Using social environment assets to identify intervention strategies for promoting school success. Children & Schools, 27(3), 177–187.Google Scholar
  51. Prelow, H. M., & Loukas, A. (2003). The role of resource, protective, and risk factors on academic achievement-related outcomes of economically disadvantaged Latino youth. Journal of Community Psychology, 31(5), 513–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Richman, J. M., Bowen, G. L., & Woolley, M. E. (2004). School failure: An eco-interactional developmental perspective. In M. W. Fraser (Ed.), Risk and resilience in childhood: An ecological perspective (2nd ed., pp. 133–160). Washington, DC: NASW Press.Google Scholar
  53. Rumberger, R. W., & Palardy, G. J. (2005). Does segregation still matter? The impact of student composition on academic achievement in high school. Teacher College Record, 107(9), 1999–2045.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rutter, M. (1979). Protective factors in children’s response to stress and disadvantage. In M. W. Kent & J. E. Rolf (Eds.), Primary prevention in psychopathology: Social competence in children (Vol. 3). Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.Google Scholar
  55. Rutter, M. (1987). Psychosocial resilience and protective mechanism. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 57, 316–331.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Rutter, M. (2006). Implications of resilience concepts for scientific understanding. In B. M. Lester, A. S. Masten, & B. McEwen (Eds.), Resilience in children (Vol. 1094 (pp. 1–12). Boston: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  57. Sameroff, A. J. (1985). Environmental factors in the early screening of children at risk. In W. K. Frankeburg, R. N. Emde, & J. W. Sullivan (Eds.), Early identification of children at risk: An international perspective (pp. 21–45). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  58. Sameroff, A. J. (2003). Ecological perspectives on development risk. In J. D. Osofsky & H. E. Fitzgerald (Eds.), WAIMH handbook of infant mental health (Vol. 4) (pp. 1–33). New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc.Google Scholar
  59. Sameroff, A. J. (2006). Identifying risk and protective factors for healthy child development. In A. Clarke-Stewart & J. F. Dunn (Eds.), Families count: Effects on child and adolescent development (pp. 53–78). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Sameroff, A. J., & Fiese, B. H. (2000). Transactional regulation: The developmental ecology of early intervention. In J. P. Shonkoff & S. J. Meisels (Eds.), Handbook of early childhood intervention (2nd ed., pp. 135–159). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Schellenberg, E. G. (2006). Long-term positive associations between music lessons and IQ. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(2), 457–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Schnurr, B. L., Kundert, D. K., & Nickerson, A. B. (2009). Grade retention: Current decision-making practices and involvement of school psychologists working in public schools. Psychology in the Schools, 46(5), 410–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sirin, S. R., & Rogers-Sirin, L. (2004). Exploring school engagement of middle-class African American adolescents. Youth & Society, 35(3), 323–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Suldo, S. M., & Shaffer, E. J. (2007). Evaluation of the self-efficacy questionnaire for children in two samples of American adolescents. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 25(4), 341–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Trochim, W. M. K. (1989a). An introduction to concept mapping for program evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning, 12, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Trochim, W. M. K. (1989b). Concept mapping: Soft science or hard art? Evaluation and Program Planning, 12, 87–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wachs, T. D. (2000). Necessary but not sufficient. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Lucio
    • 1
  • Lisa Rapp-Paglicci
    • 2
  • William Rowe
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Child and Family StudiesUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

Personalised recommendations