This research study examines the relationship between academic achievement and at-risk students. Many issues today affect the achievement gap and the ability for at-risk students to succeed. Most data, as revealed in the studies included in this review, conclude the factors identifying at-risk students do have significant impact on the academic achievement of individual students and schools. Most often, these students are not successful and eventually drop out of school or pursue a GED. Data indicate that teacher-student relationships, parent or caregiverstudent relationships, motivation, SES, and peer influence can affect success for at- risk students.
Twelfth grade students from two high schools in an urban school district were given the opportunity to participate in a survey. This study investigates correlations between the dependent variable grade point average (GPA), and the independent variables teacher-student relationships, parent or caregiver-student relationships, motivation, SES, and peer influence. Five regressions were run to determine if any of the independent variables predict GPA.
Data from this study indicate that the variance between the dependent variable of GPA and each of the five independent variables is significant; however the practicality of these results’ having a significant influence on the GPA of the study participants is minimal.
The strongest variance found was between GPA and motivation and between GPA and peer influence. Other findings include a relationship between GPA and participation in sports or activities. As GPA increases, the percentage of students participating in sports and activities increased. The students in this study do have positive relationships with their teachers; have a parent or caregiver encouraging them to do well in school; and plan to attend college.