Date of Award

Summer 1997

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Stephen W. Tonelson

Committee Member

Maurice R. Berube

Committee Member

Jane M. Hager

Committee Member

Rebecca S. Bowers

Committee Member

Donna B. Evans


This research examined the Pride Program (1991 and 1992)--a residential, summer-school program for at-risk middle-school students. It was conducted with subjects from two large, urban middle schools for the purpose of determining if, after five school years, differences existed among three selected groups (treatment, control and comparison) of at-risk students in the areas of academic achievement, attendance and conduct. Treatment-group self-esteem was examined over a three-year period. Furthermore, this study provided a qualitative program evaluation of the Pride Program for the first two years of its existence.

The results are as follows: The qualitative evaluation indicated that all participants were generally satisfied with the program, although it needed some corrections, particularly in the academic component. Primary quantitative findings at the end of tenth grade were that there were no significant differences between groups in mean English grades, mathematics grades, grade-point average, number of absences and discipline referrals. At the end of middle school (eighth grade), the treatment group was found to have significantly better math grades in school than the other two groups and significantly lower ITBS Total Language scores than the control group. No significant difference was found in Total Self-esteem over the three-year period.

Secondary finding were that mathematics grades declined for all groups between the first semester and the fourth semester of high school; the three groups combined mean numbers of absences and discipline referrals increased significantly between Grades 6 and 10; positive significant differences in Total Self-esteem were found between the pre-treatment scores and the ninth grade scores; a positive time effect was found on the subscales of General Self, Social Self-Peers and Home-Parents.

Quantitative analysis of academic achievement, attendance and conduct demonstrated no statistically significant impact based on a student's attendance in the Pride Program. The only area which demonstrated significant results was self-esteem in the three subareas of General Self, Social Self-Peers and Home-Parents. Various recommendations for program improvement are discussed.


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