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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-28

Analyzing multiple relationships between psychological, social, and family factors and the academic success of female high school students in Isfahan


1 Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University of Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran

Date of Web Publication16-Jan-2017

Correspondence Address:
Saeideh Mahzoonien
No. 3, Homaye Rahmat Alley, Parvin Street Hakim Shafahi Street, Isfahan
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2395-2296.186517

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  Abstract 

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate relationships between psychological factors (self-esteem, attachment styles, and body image), family factors (family relationships), social factors (teacher-student relationship), and the academic achievement of female high school students in Isfahan. Methods: The study was descriptive and correlational. For sampling, 210 female high school students from all female high schoolers in Isfahan with an average age of 16 were selected through cluster sampling. Research instruments were questionnaires of self-esteem, attachment style, body image, and family relationship and a researcher-made scale of the teacher-student relationship. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: Analyzing the results of the study that was done through step-wise multiple regression analysis showed that there was a significant relationship between insecure maternal attachment style, body image, kinds of teacher-student relationships, and academic achievement; and from among these variables, body image had the ability of predicting academic achievement. Other predictor variables were not significantly related to academic achievement Therefore, it could be concluded that changes in insecure maternal attachment style, body image, and teacher-student relationships were associated with the changes of the academic achievement. Conclusion: There was not any significant relationship between self-esteem and the students' academic achievement. Insecure maternal attachment styles, from among different styles, had a negative significant relationship with academic achievement. It means that increasing insecure maternal attachment style causes decreasing the students' academic achievement. The negative and significant relationship between negative body image and academic achievement means that increasing the negative body image causes decreasing academic achievement. In this research, no significant relationship between family and academic achievement was observed. By taking different kinds of significant teacher-student relationships into consideration, changing teacher-students relationships in adolescence period is more important than other variables related to academic achievement.

Keywords: Academic achievement, attachment styles, body image, family relationships, self-esteem, teacher-student relationships


How to cite this article:
Mahzoonien S, Yousefi Z. Analyzing multiple relationships between psychological, social, and family factors and the academic success of female high school students in Isfahan. Int J Educ Psychol Res 2017;3:21-8

How to cite this URL:
Mahzoonien S, Yousefi Z. Analyzing multiple relationships between psychological, social, and family factors and the academic success of female high school students in Isfahan. Int J Educ Psychol Res [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Nov 12];3:21-8. Available from: http://www.ijeprjournal.org/text.asp?2017/3/1/21/186517


  Introduction Top


Suitable training and proper education for teenagers is a concern for many developing societies. It seems that academic achievement has always been one of the most important issues in the field of teenagers' psychology. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation of relationships between self-esteem, attachment styles, body image, and family variables and teacher-student relationships and academic achievement. Academic achievement is the acquired ability of a person in educational issues that are measured through standardized comprehensive tests or teacher-made tests.[1] In another definition, academic achievement can be described as motivation for academic achievement, employment in purposeful educational activities, satisfaction, learning the required knowledge, skills and competencies, persistence and consistency, achieving the educational goals, and the person's obvious performance after the completion of the academic period.[2]

Since the factors that lead to academic achievement and prevent its loss are of significant importance, in this study it is has been assumed that psychological variables (self-esteem, attachment styles, body image, family relationships, and teacher-student relationships) are associated with academic achievement. Self-esteem is largely the result of the density of successes and failures related to the progress, and it has no significant impact on later development.[3] Self-esteem means the need for self-respect; in other words, self-esteem means the need for success achievement and confirmation, or the need to create a positive self-impression and that the others consider the person respectable.[4] In addition to the fact that having self-esteem is regarded as a part of mental health, it is also associated with academic achievement. Many researchers have found that self-esteem is related to getting high scores in school.[5] Until now, some studies have examined the role of this variable in students' academic life, including Asgarian and Khorami (2014), Loree.[6],[7] The attachment can be defined as the patterns of thinking, feeling, and personal behavior in close relationship with the caregiver, intimate partners, and others. The word attachment also indicates the person's desire to stay close to certain people and feeling more secure in their presence. Therefore, these childhood attachment experiences have a profound influence on personality development and subsequent attachment relationships.[8] In fact, the child's attachment behavior gradually appears during normal development to ensure the emotional relationship between two adults; and individual experiences with attachment figures during the years of undevelopment (childhood and adolescence period) determine their behavior route and attachment patterns. Thus, the person's emotional relationships throughout life depend on the way of development of attachment behavior in their personality framework.[9] Tobman and Foss (2002) argue that low levels of parental attachment may lead to an increased risk of students' poor educational performance.[10] Body image is one of the major concerns in adolescents and seems to be related to academic achievement. Concern about physical appearance is one of the important issues that adolescents and especially girls are grappling with. Body image is a multidimensional and complex psychological constructs that contain bodily self-perception and self-attitudes including thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors.[11] In fact, it can be said that body image is the internal representation of the external appearance of a person that this representation includes physical and cognitive dimensions and attitude toward them.[12] Body image also includes conscious and unconscious ideas and feelings about the body, a concept of personal feelings about body size, sex, and the body's ability to achieve the objectives.[13] So far some studies have examined the role of this variable in students' academic life, including Yanover and Thompson, Dohnt and Tiggemann, Clay et al., and Alves-Martins et al.[14],[15],[16],[17]

The family is the founder of the child's character, values, and defensive standards.[18] kimjani and Maher have defined the family as a regulatory system whose members constantly improve their communication based on the communication pattern.[19] Glasser et al. (2005) believe that understanding these patterns can help in understanding some aspects of family functioning. In fact, understanding the different types of family communication patterns in addition to commentaries can help foreseeing and clearing up the family function and its associated theories and prescribing solutions.[20] Everyone needs to have a sense of belonging and wishes to have friends and relatives and to establish intimate and close relations with them. One of these relationships is the relationship between teacher and students. The relationship that students establish with their teachers and peers plays a key role in the acquisition of attitudes, beliefs, fundamental values, and consequently, their educational status. According to the researchers such as Weinstein (1996), Glasser and Gordon, the quality of the relationship between teacher and student has a great impact on students' academic achievement and their interests. Weinstein (1996) argues that good teachers spend some time getting to know students and their interests and based on this recognition they establish a friendly relationship in the form of a friend and a responsible adult with students.[21],[22] So far some studies have been conducted in the areas of academic achievement including: Mahbod and Ooladchang studied the relationship between parental attachment and academic achievement.[23] Atashrrooz et al. studied the relationship between maternal, paternal, and peers attachment and academic achievement.[24] Ghobari Bonab and Hejazi studied the relationship between assertiveness, self-esteem, and academic achievement.[25] In their study, Shamaeezadeh and Ahmadi showed that teaching family interaction has a positive effect on children's academic achievement.[26] Bal and Baruss in their study found that parental attachment is related to the increase of the chance for achieving extra motivation for success.[27] Kristjansson et al. after their study concluded that physical activity, self-esteem, and good eating habits are associated with higher academic achievement.[28] In a study, Butler and Gasso demonstrated a significant relationship between self-esteem and academic achievement. However, no research so far has predicted the academic achievement based on self-esteem, attachment styles, body image, family relationships, and the teacher-student relationship.[29] According to the mentioned issues, analyzing different factors in combination on the students' academic achievement is essential for determining the variance of academic achievement. This method has been more effective than the method of determining the role of each factor individually, and it can predict a larger part of the variance of academic achievement. Therefore, this study investigates the relationships between self-esteem, attachment styles, body image, family relationships, and teacher-student relationship and their academic achievement.


  Methods Top


This study method was descriptive and correlational. The study population consisted of female high school students who were studying in the academic year 2013-2014 in Isfahan. The statistical sample of this research consisted of 210 female top students. Because there were 12 scales and subscales in this study (academic achievement = 1, self-esteem = 1, attachment style = 6, body image = 1, family relations = 1, and teacher and student relations = 2) and 15 people were sampled for each variable and subvariable, so 180 people were enough, but for reducing the statistical errors, the sample size was increased to 210. Because the study population consisted of female high school students in Isfahan, research sample was selected through cluster sampling. In this way that three educational districts were randomly selected at first. In the next step, six high schools were randomly selected from each of the selected districts and then top students in each class responded to the questionnaires. Top students were selected on the basis of the grade point average (GPA) of the previous year or semester. To measure the variables, appropriate measurement tools including questionnaires and standard scales were used. In the following, it is referred to each of them and their characteristics. The Rosenberg self-esteem scale (RSE): This scale consists of 10 self-reported items which are a two-dimensional structure (positive and negative perceptions of themselves). The questionnaire has three editions (original and revised edition with positive and negative words). The original version was used in this study. Palman and Alayk (2000) calculated the internal consistency coefficient for original scale for 741 students in California as 0.91.[30] Furthermore, Rusticus et al. calculated Cronbach's alpha coefficients for American students as 0.87, for Canadians as 0.86 and New Zealandians as 0.83.[31] In Iran, Mohammadi reported Cronbach's alpha coefficients and split-half RSE on Shiraz University students as 0.69 and 0.68; and test-retest coefficients of above scales within a week as 0.77, within 2 weeks as 0.73, and within 3 weeks as 0.78, which all the test-retest coefficients were statistically significant.[32] The subjects based on a 4-point Likert scale (from strongly disagree to agree strongly) responded to this scale. Minimum and maximum scores on this scale are 10 and 40, which higher scores indicate higher self-esteem. The questionnaire has applied reverse scoring as well where the questions 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 are scored in reverse. In this study, the internal consistency coefficient was calculated as 0 through Cronbach's alpha coefficient. Inventory of parent and peer attachment: This questionnaire was made by Armesden and Greenberg in 1987. This questionnaire has three parts. The first part consists of 25 questions, which measures the attachment to father. The second part consists of 25 questions and measures the attachment to mother and the third part consists of 17 questions that measure peer attachment. This questionnaire has been graded in the form of a 5-point Likert scale (from it is always so to it is never so) and it is answered in the range of 1-5 scale. Armesden and Greenberg reported the test-retest reliability of the test as 0.93 for parental attachment and 0.79 for peer attachment.[33] In Iran, Daneshian (1999) has also reported the internal consistency coefficient of the questionnaire for parental attachment to be 0.79 and for attachment to peers to be 0.76.[34] The questionnaire does not include reverse scoring. In this study, the internal consistency of this questionnaire was calculated as 0 through Cronbach's alpha for each of subscales including secure maternal attachment, insecure maternal attachment, secure paternal attachment, insecure paternal attachment, secure peers attachment, and insecure peers attachment.

The body shape questionnaire

The questionnaire contains 34 items. Di Pietro and da Silveira and Espina et al. measured the internal consistency of this questionnaire using Cronbach's alpha and reported it as 0.96 and 0.97, respectively.[35],[36] In this study, the 14-item version of the questionnaire was used, which is based on a 6-point Likert scale (from never to always) with a scoring range of 1-6. The internal consistency of the questionnaire was calculated 0 through Cronbach's alpha. The questionnaire does not contain reverse scoring. It is worth mentioning that this questionnaire evaluates negative body image.

Olson and Barnes family relationship questionnaire

The questionnaire was made in 1989 by Olson and Ghobari Bonab and contains 10 items. It has been graded based on Likert 5-point scale (from strongly disagree to agree strongly) with a range of 1-5. The reliability of the internal consistency of this scale based on a sample of 2465 people is 0.95 and the result of its test-retest is 0.86.[37] The internal consistency of this questionnaire was analyzed in a study by Zaeem (2013) that was reported as 0.92 through Cronbach's alpha. The internal consistency of the questionnaire through Cronbach's alpha was calculated as 0. It should be noted that the questionnaire does not contain reverse scoring.

Teacher-student relationships scale

This scale in this study was made to evaluate the relationship between teacher and student. The scale contains 14 items on a 5-point scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The questionnaire consists of two subscales with six and eight questions. Questions 1-8 relate to secure relationships with teachers and questions 9-14 relate to insecure relationships with teachers. The content validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by five experts, and its internal consistency was calculated as (=0.851) for both the secure and insecure teachers-students relations. The questionnaire does not contain reverse scoring.

Academic achievement

To measure the students' academic achievement, the GPAs of the students were considered and the GPAs of three top students in each class were entered into the study. After completing the questionnaires, the relationships between variables were analyzed using Pearson correlation and step-wise multiple regression analysis method.


  Results Top


For analyzing the data in this study, the mean and standard deviation were calculated and the relationships between variables were investigated using Pearson correlation and multiple regression analysis through the step-wise method.

Descriptive statistics such as mean and standard deviation of variables among the subjects are presented in [Table 1].
Table 1: The mean and standard deviation of variables


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Results of [Table 2] show that insecure maternal attachment style, negative body image, and teacher-student relationships have a significant negative relation with students' academic achievement. Moreover, secure teacher-student relationships have a significant positive relation with students' academic achievement. Thus, the hypothesis of an association between insecure maternal attachment style, negative body image, secure teacher-student relationships and insecure teacher-student relationships with the students' academic achievement is approved. The step-wise regression analysis was used to determine the most important factor among the mentioned factors in predicting the students' academic achievement.
Table 2: Correlations between self-esteem, styles of parents and peers attachment, negative body image, family relationships and teacher-student relationships and female high school students' academic achievement (n = 210)


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[Table 3] shows the results of regression analysis through the enter method for students' academic achievement based on predictive variables. As it is considerable in [Table 3], the negative body image from among analyzed variables with correlational regressions, 188 ones enters the equation that is able to predict variance of 3.5 for students' academic achievement.
Table 3: Step-wise regression analysis to predict the students' academic achievement on the basis of negative body image


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[Table 4] shows the results of regression analysis through the enter method for students' academic achievement on the basis of insecure maternal attachment style. As it is considerable in this table, the insecure maternal attachment style with correlational regression of 0.123 entered to the regression equation that makes predicting 1.5% of students' academic achievement variance (P < 0.073) possible.
Table 4: Step-wise regression analysis to predict the students' academic achievement on the basis of insecure maternal attachment style


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[Table 5] shows the results of stepwise regression analysis to predict the students' academic achievement based on predictive variables. It means that having a secure and insecure teacher-student relationship was not significant in predicting equation of students' academic achievement. Beside these two variables were not able to predict students' academic achievement.
Table 5: Step-wise regression analysis to predict the students' academic achievement based on secure and insecure teacher- student relationships


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  Discussion Top


Test results of Pearson correlation test showed that there is not a significant relation between self-esteem and female high school students' academic achievement. Therefore, it was found that increasing self-esteem has not a significant relation with female high school students' academic achievement. The results of this study are inconsistent with the results of the research by Goldenberg (1960), Schmitz and Mark Leary and Deborah.[38],[39],[40]

In explaining this conclusion, it can be stated that Marugama et al. (1981) found that in the relationship there may be a third reason (e.g., ability or social support) effective on academic achievement and self-esteem. Both self-belief of abilities and self-esteem may be affected through nonacademic experiences related to abilities or a third variable.[41]

The results of Pearson correlation in this study showed that from among parental attachment styles, only insecure maternal attachment style has a significant negative relationship with academic achievement. This result means that students' academic achievement decreases by increasing insecure maternal attachment style. Therefore, the relation between insecure maternal attachment style and students' academic achievement was confirmed in this study.

Peers attachment includes secure and insecure peers attachment styles. The findings of this study showed that there is not a significant relation between secure and insecure peers attachment styles and students' academic achievement. In this way, the relationship between peers attachment style and students' academic achievement was not confirmed. The results of this study are incompatible with the findings of Chang et al. Tobman and Fass, Bell, Hoffman and Weiss, Laurent, Jonathan and Walter, and Neff and Karney.[10],[42],[43],[44],[45],[46],[47]

In explaining the negative correlation between insecure maternal attachment style and academic achievement, it could be said that people with insecure attachment style have less exploring power in comparison to people with secure attachment style.[48]

For explaining why secure parental attachments are not so effective on academic achievement, it may be stated that there might be more important and more fundamental factors in academic achievement than attachment for adolescents; and greater insecure maternal attachment produces mind preoccupation that is associated with educational failure.

In explanation the lack of relationship between peers attachment and academic achievement, it can be said that perhaps attachment with peers is a factor that is, related to other aspects of adolescents life such as those related to social and sociological perspectives; and in academic achievement there must be some more important and critical factors involved, such as cognitive intelligence.

The results of Pearson correlation test on the relationship between negative body image and academic achievement showed that there is a significant negative relation between these two variables. The results of this research hypothesis are in accordance with the findings of Lodewyk et al. (2009), Miles, Yanover and Thompson, Mikala, Gibson and Thomas and Thompson.[14],[49],[50],[51],[52],[53]

In explanation of the present results, it can be stated that based on the results of the studies by Frone et al. and Padin et al. (1981),[54],[55] synchronization of adolescence with puberty changes has a great impact on social adjustment, mental health, the psychological performance, and healthy behavior; if these physical changes are desirable for adolescents, and they accept them and are satisfied with their physical appearance, consequently social adjustment, mental health, psychological functioning, and healthy behaviors in teenagers are reinforced and this can help their academic achievement.

Pearson correlation test results showed that there is not a significant relation between the family relations and academic achievement of female high school students. The results of this research are incompatible with the foundings of the studies by Isfahani, Al Dinvand et al. (2003).[56],[57]

Although these mentioned studies emphasize the relationship between family relationships and academic achievement, the results of this study showed no significant correlation between family relationships and academic achievement. It seems perhaps other important factors such as cognitive intelligence or parents' socioeconomic status are more effective in shaping the academic achievement, and these factors neutralize the role of family relationships.

In this study, Pearson correlation test was used for examining the relationship between teacher-student relationships and academic achievement. Teacher-student relationship in this sector is of two kinds: secure and insecure teacher-student relationships. According to the results of this research, there is a significant positive relation between secure teacher-student relationship and academic achievement. There is a significant negative relation between insecure teacher-student relationship and academic achievement. Therefore, the results of this study confirmed the relationship between teacher-student relationship and female high school students' academic achievement. The results of this study are in line with the results of the research by Shousan.[58]

In explanation of this hypothesis, it can be stated that as the studies have shown when the teacher has an intimate relation with the students and gives them the opportunity to make decisions and to control parts of the students' learning process, they become more motivated to learn.

The limitations of this research are as follow:

  • The source of information is just limited to one group and the other groups like parent and friends have not been used as a source of information for data collection.
  • The psychometric tools were a just questionnaire, but the other methods such as interview and observation have not been used.


The interference variables have not been controlled in this research.

Some of the questionnaires have not been returned, and some people gave the back without giving an answer.

The total suggestions that can represent in this research are as:

By taking a significant relationship between insecure maternal attachment style and students' academic achievement into consideration, they must be aware of the importance effect of this factor on their children's academic achievement. Furthermore, by taking the negative and significant relationship between negative body image and academic achievement into the consideration, it is better to write some plans toward amending students' perspective related to this field. Due to the significant relationship between teacher-student relationship and students' academic achievement, it is recommended that in teacher training centers some programs would plan for boosting a suitable and close teacher-student relationship. It is suggested that for the next researches, the relationship between cognitive variables like the improvement's motivation in high school students' academic achievement should be analyzed. Furthermore, the self-esteem, attachment style, body image, family relationship and teacher-students relationship and the level of normal students' academic achievement should be analyzed and compared with talent student's academic achievement.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]



 

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