Multiple Regression Analysis of Noncognitive Factors Affecting Academic Outcomes of First-time Detained Juvenile Delinquents

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A review of the literature showed there was evidence to suggest many incarcerated juvenile delinquents experience lifelong problems. The problem addressed by this dissertation was to provide a description and analysis of the plight of first-time-detained juvenile delinquents and the impact of noncognitive attributes and academic achievement on grades. Since first-time-incarcerated juvenile delinquents were at risk for future failure in school and life, understanding causes of academic failure could improve graduation rates and transition back into society. Social learning theory and labeling theory suggested students behave by what the youths learned from other juveniles and the labels received from peers, parents, and the community. Adaptive leadership was used as the theoretical framework because teachers in juvenile detention centers face a myriad of problems and concerns beyond traditional school which require more than technical solutions. The research questions inquired about the degree of correlation between noncognitive attributes, academic achievement, and grades. Using a non-experimental, ex post facto design, a multiple regression analysis was conducted on archival data for first-time-detained juvenile delinquents. Three predictor variables were statistically significant and influenced academic performance measured by grades: verbal ability, social self-esteem, and prosocial skills. For juvenile delinquents (n = 72; males = 58, females = 14) aged 10-18 (M =15.3; SD = 1.6; range 10-18), the three predictor variables predicted English grades (adjusted R2 = .280) and Mathematics grades (adjusted R2 = .225). Other noncognitive attributes were discussed, and recommendations for policies and future research were outlined. The results of the study support past research findings on the interaction between student achievement, noncognitive attributes, and the need to improve communication skills of juvenile delinquents.
Noncognitive Factors, Adaptive Leadership, Labeling Theory