Despite the prevalence of the grade retention in US schools, understanding of the effectiveness of this costly intervention is lacking due to methodological and conceptual limitations of extant research. A primary methodological limitation is a failure in most studies of retention effects to rule out that pre-existing vulnerabilities associated with selection into the retention intervention are responsible for results. Conceptually, studies fail to specify developmental processes by which retention would affect academic outcomes. Prospective, longitudinal studies spanning grades 1-12 are rare. The primary objective of the proposal is to continue to follow a sample of 569 ethnically and linguistically diverse students (206 Hispanic, 200 White, 140 African American, and 23 Other), who were recruited on the basis of academic risk when in first grade in 2000 or 2001 and are still active, to determine the effects of grade retention on students'graduation from high school and postsecondary educational and occupational attainment, and to investigate theoretically informed models of processes that mediate the impact of grade retention as well variables that moderate its success. Drawing from results obtained to date, retention in the elementary grades is expected to negatively impact students'psychological, cognitive, and behavioral engagement in middle school, which will impact achievement and school persistence in high school. A second objective is to clarify the role of social processes and classroom and school variables on achievement and educational attainment via the effect of social processes on students'educational motivation and aspirations. Thirdly, the study investigates the role of ethnicity, language, and culture as they relate to the first two specific aims in our sub-sample of Hispanic students. Propensity matching will be used to minimize selection effects into the retention group. The availability of extensive data from teachers, peers, schools, and parents as well as annual individual assessments of students'academic achievement and psychosocial functioning across students'public school experience permits testing complex models of growth in academic motivation and achievement across schooling, change across time in sources of influence on achievement, and short-term as well as long- term consequences of grade retention as well as peer, teacher, and family variables on educational outcomes. Research questions are translated into testable hypothesized models and presented in path diagrams. The corresponding statistical powers of the hypothesized models are then estimated procedures that address both latent and observed variables as well as the multilevel nature of our data simultaneously.
Although students retained in grade are more likely to drop out of school, it is not clear that the association between being retained and dropping out of school is due to retention or to other vulnerabilities that are associated with being retained. The proposed research uses a longitudinal design with good controls for students'vulnerabilities for poor educational outcomes, prior to being retained, to determine the effect of grade retention on high school graduation and post- secondary educational and occupational outcomes. Failure to earn a high school degree places an individual at greatly increased risk for long-term social, mental health, and economic problems. The study also investigates factors that buffer students with poor academic skills in first grade from poor educational outcomes.
|Hughes, Jan N; Cao, Qian; West, Stephen G et al. (2017) Effect of retention in elementary grades on dropping out of school early. J Sch Psychol 65:11-27|
|Hughes, Jan N; Cao, Qian; Kwok, Oi-Man (2016) Indirect Effects of Extracurricular Participation on Academic Adjustment Via Perceived Friends' Prosocial Norms. J Youth Adolesc 45:2260-2277|
|Hughes, Jan N; Im, Myung H (2016) Teacher-Student Relationship and Peer Disliking and Liking Across Grades 1-4. Child Dev 87:593-611|
|Im, Myung Hee; Hughes, Jan N; West, Stephen G (2016) Effect of Trajectories of Friends' and Parents' School Involvement on Adolescents' Engagement and Achievement. J Res Adolesc 26:963-978|
|Cham, Heining; Hughes, Jan N; West, Stephen G et al. (2015) Effect of retention in elementary grades on grade 9 motivation for educational attainment. J Sch Psychol 53:7-24|
|Spilt, Jantine; Hughes, Jan N (2015) African American Children At-Risk of Increasingly Conflicted Teacher-Student Relationships in Elementary School. School Psych Rev 44:246-261|
|Hughes, Jan N; Im, MyungHee; Kwok, Oi-Man et al. (2015) Latino Students' Transition to Middle School: Role of Bilingual Education and School Ethnic Context. J Res Adolesc 25:443-458|
|Hughes, Jan N; Im, Myung Hee; Allee, Paula J (2015) Effect of school belonging trajectories in grades 6-8 on achievement: Gender and ethnic differences. J Sch Psychol 53:493-507|
|Wu, Jiun-Yu; Hughes, Jan N (2015) Teacher Network of Relationships Inventory: measurement invariance of academically at-risk students across ages 6 to 15. Sch Psychol Q 30:23-36|
|Cham, Heining; Hughes, Jan N; West, Stephen G et al. (2014) Assessment of adolescents' motivation for educational attainment. Psychol Assess 26:642-59|
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