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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Educational Leadership and Policy

First Advisor

Roger DeMont


The purpose of this study was to examine effects of self-efficacy, locus of control, self-esteem, and academic outcomes on students enrolled in adult basic education (ABE) programs to determine if students who have higher levels of these psychosocial constructs have better academic achievement than those with low self-efficacy and self-esteem, and an external locus of control. A nonexperimental, descriptive research design was used in this study. The data collection tools, included: the Self-efficacy Scale, Belief in Personal Control Scale, the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, and a short demographic survey. A total of 125 adults enrolled as students in the Detroit Public Schools ABE and General Education Development (GED) were invited to participate in this study. Of this number, data were collected from 100 students. Results suggested that students who scored at or above a 9.0 reading level on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) did not differ in their levels of self-efficacy, locus of control, and self-esteem from those who scored below the 9.0 reading level. Self-efficacy, locus of control, and self-esteem were not significant predictors of academic achievement and attendance. Although no statistically significant results were found on the comparisons between students with different reading levels, suggestions for teachers and administrators in ABE programs suggested that adult educators should be included on planning committees for ABE programs, especially in helping set attainable outcomes and setting standards that reflect the abilities of the population being served. ABE programs need to provide professional development activities designed to help teachers understand the importance of self-efficacy and locus of control in helping their students become better learners. Recommendations for further research were included to continue research on the impact of psychosocial factors on students enrolled in adult education programs.

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