Impact of Adult Support and Friends' Beliefs on Student Self-Perceptions across Race/Ethnic Groups

Open Access
Lim, Linda
Graduate Program:
School Psychology
Doctor of Education
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
May 04, 2017
Committee Members:
  • Barbara Schaefer, Dissertation Advisor
  • Barbara Schaefer, Committee Chair
  • Cristin Marie Hall, Committee Member
  • Pui-Wa Lei, Committee Member
  • Jose Angel Soto, Outside Member
  • self-perceptions
  • race
  • achievement
  • parent support
  • teacher support
  • peer support
The present study examined the relationships between perceived adult support, perceived friends’ beliefs, academic self-perceptions, and academic achievement using a national high school sample (N = 15,244). Symbolic interactionism theory emphasizes the impact of socializing agents in the development of the self and posits that students internalize others’ beliefs to shape their own beliefs about school, learning, and their own competencies (Harter, Waters, & Whitesell, 1998). Presently, inconsistent findings exist regarding the effects of parents’, teachers’, and friends’ influence on academic self-perceptions and expectations across racial and ethnic groups. With the theory of symbolic interactionism and the expectancy-value model of achievement as conceptual frameworks, structural equation modeling (SEM) was utilized to explore these relationships. Results indicated a mediating effect of student self-perceptions on the relationship between adult support and peer beliefs impacting achievement. Further, multiple-group comparisons revealed invariance in the magnitude of effect of self-perceptions on achievement across race/ethnicity groups. Practical implications and future directions are discussed.