Noncognitive Factors Affecting Academic Achievement of Juvenile Delinquents
Keywords:juvenile delinquency, noncognitive, alternative education, multiple regression
The present study provides a description and analysis of the plight of first-time detained juvenile delinquents in the United States and the impact of noncognitive attributes and academic achievement on grades. Juvenile delinquents have poor outcomes as adults in higher rates of drug abuse, poor high school graduation rates, and lowered employment well into adulthood. The research questions examined the correlation among the noncognitive attributes of grit, academic self-concept, mental health, and self-esteem, academic achievement, and English and Mathematics grades for first-time detained juvenile delinquents aged 10-18. A multiple regression analysis of archival records of students in a short-term juvenile detention center was conducted. Findings showed three predictor variables were statistically significant and influenced academic performance measured by grades: verbal ability, social self-esteem, and prosocial skills. For juvenile delinquents (n = 72; males = 58, females = 14) aged 10-18 (M =15.3; SD = 1.6; range 10-18), the three predictor variables predicted English grades (adjusted R2 = .280) and Mathematics grades (adjusted R2 = .225). There was a discussion and recommendations for policies and research. The results support the need to consider noncognitive factors and the consideration of communication skills in the education of juvenile delinquents.
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