Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Gary Tiffin


Academic institutions continue to find that the cost of a student’s failure of a core class has significant implications for that student’s overall academic success, from middle school through university level programs. Many intervention programs are retroactively planned as they are activated after the student has failed a number of core classes. This research investigated three measures of self-control, grit, and attitude toward math as possible predictors of student performance in a math class. Surveys were administered toward the beginning of the trimester to 46 high school students enrolled in four different geometry and algebra courses at a rural Oregon high school. Pearson’s correlations along with multiple regression analysis of these measurements were analyzed against the students’ final grades in the math classes. Research instruments closely followed those used and developed by prior researchers (Duckworth, Tapia, and Tangney.) Static measures used for comparison included student GPA, prior average math grades, and student scores on a math pre-test. This research demonstrated moderate to high positive correlations with all independent variables when compared to each student’s final grade in the math class, though statistical significance varied. Implications of this study are that the character traits do have promise as predictors of student academic progress, specifically in a high school math course, but are not as robust predictors as traditional available student data such as GPA and prior math grades.

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