Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name



Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Cheryl L. Somers


There is a large body of research that shows moderate to strong correlations between academic achievement and various inter- and intra-personal variables. The aim of this study was to develop a model that explains the most variance and best predicts academic achievement in adolescence. Specifically, executive functioning, achievement goal orientation, academic self-efficacy, future orientation, and hope, from the cognitive domain, as well as school risk behaviors, social risk behaviors, loneliness, and mattering from the social domain were examined. Participants included 210 high school students (93 females, 117 males) from an agricultural school district in southeastern Michigan. In an aggregate model, it was found that hope and school risk behaviors explained nearly half (49%) of achievement variance, when gender, grade level, and socioeconomic status were controlled for. Although mattering was significant when examining the social variables alone, it did not significantly contribute to the model when hope was included. Also of interest was whether school or social risk behaviors moderated the relationship between executive functioning and achievement. Results did not support this hypothesis. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.