Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Educational Leadership and Policy

First Advisor

Roger DeMont


The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of self-efficacy, locus of control, and perceived parental influence on the academic achievement of African-American high school students from low socioeconomic levels. A nonexperimental, descriptive research study was used to collect the data needed to address the research questions posed for this study. High school students enrolled in one high school in a large urban school district were asked to participate in the study. These students completed three instruments, Self in School, Importance of Parent Involvement, and the Intellectual Achievement Responsibility questionnaire (IAR), along with a short demographic survey developed by the researcher.

The outcomes suggested that self-reported academic achievement was significantly related in a positive direction to self-efficacy, locus of control, and perceptions of parent involvement. A statistically significant difference was found in mean scores of self efficacy in participants with high academic performance when compared to students with low academic performance. Students who started their academic careers successfully tended to remain so over time. Conversely, those students who were unsuccessful also remained so over time. Significant differences were found for self-efficacy by grade level. Eleventh graders exhibited the highest level of self efficacy and differed significantly from tenth graders. A statistically significant difference was found for gender, grade, and the interaction of gender and grade. Females scored higher on self efficacy than males. Eleventh grade females had the highest self reported grades. The research presented in this study indicated that a relationship existed between self efficacy, locus of control, and parental involvement. Students who self-reported higher academic achievement also were more likely to have high self efficacy, internal and external locus of control, and the perception that their parents were very involved in their schooling.