The proposed project will examine an academically at-risk group of approximately 60 teenaged mothers and pregnant teens (teen moms) to determine the relationship, if any, between self-efficacy perceptions and academic achievement as measured by Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT) reading scores and quarterly grades in reading.
The teen moms to be studied are enrolled at Hallandale Adult Community Center (HACC), a Broward County alternative public school that provides a structured teen parent program. All teen moms will complete a written self-efficacy perceptions assessment within the first week of the six-month study period and again during the last week of the study. An experimental group of approximately 30 teen moms at HACC will participate in structured mentoring, role modeling, and journaling activities designed to raise self-efficacy perceptions over the period of the study. A control group of approximately 30 teen moms enrolled at HACC will not participate in these activities. At the conclusion of the study, the two groups' mean self-efficacy perception scores, mean FCAT reading scores, and mean grades in reading will be compared, via t-tests, to determine any significant differences at the .05 level. It is hypothesized that the experimental group will demonstrate significantly higher self-efficacy perceptions, significantly higher FCAT reading scores, and significantly improved quarterly reading grades than the control group. Further, qualitative analysis of the teen moms' journals will be conducted to glean additional insights into relationships between their self-efficacy perceptions and academic achievements as well as challenges.
The proposed study is significant because teen moms are severely deficient academically. Teen moms in Broward County typically demonstrate failing FCAT scores, failing grades, and chronic truancy. The proposed project will examine the role of increased self-efficacy perceptions as a conduit to resolving the myriad of academic challenges faced by these teen moms.