The 40 developmental assests program and its potential impact on academic achievement among 8th grade hispanic students: an ex post facto inquiry
Alarilla, Margarita Macias
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The 40 Developmental Assets program’s mission is to develop relationships and opportunities along with personal qualities in adolescents. The purpose of the study was to examine the impact of the Assets on science, mathematics, and reading achievement of 8th grade students. The study was guided by the Ecology of Human Development theory. The study was an ex-post facto inquiry, using a causal-comparative design, and delimited to Hispanic 8th grade students. The characteristic-present groups consisted of non-probability samples of 145, 113, and 145 students in science, mathematics, and reading, respectively, who had incorporated the Assets program in their daily school-related activities. The comparison group included 149, 137, and 154 students in science, mathematics, and reading, respectively, who had not been introduced to the Assets program. The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) was used to obtain the outcome measures and Texas Education Agency provided the existing data. Due to non-experimental nature of the study, no causal inferences were drawn. It had been hypothesized that the students in the Assets program would outperform the students in the non-Assets program on the basis of academic achievement in science, mathematics, and reading. Results showed that the Assets group outperformed the comparison group on all four science categories, namely, 1) Matter and Energy, 2) Force, Motion, and Energy, 3) Earth and Space, and 4) Organisms and Environments); one of the four mathematics categories (Computations and Algebraic Relationships), and all three reading categories: 1) Understanding/Analysis Across Genres, 2) Understanding/Analysis of Literary Texts, and 3) Understanding/Analysis of Informational The results supported all hypotheses and it was concluded that Assets program has the potential to impact academic achievement. Initially, the Assets program should be presented to the administrators and staff of all elementary, middle, and high schools as a tool to support the academic life of students. For successful implementation, training for the program should be two-fold: training for the administration/teachers and training for the parents/guardians. The implementation of the Assets would benefit greatly from parental support, or at minimal, the parental knowledge of the program.