Greener Journal of Social Sciences

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Greener Journal of  Social Sciences Vol. 3 (9), pp. 410-422, November 2013

  ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2011 GJSS

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 280913866


Factors in Academic Achievement: Do Moderator Variables Account for any Significant Differences in Emotional Self-Concepts and Academic Achievement of Adolescents in Secondary Schools?


Ignatius Isaac Dambudzo


Zimbabwe Open University, PO Box, MP1119, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe.


Email: idambudzo @


Low academic achievement and the need to search for factors influencing performance, explanations such as poor teacher quality, resources, low level of teacher motivation and commitment, poor supervision, discipline, political interference, lack of parental support have been advanced. Little if any attention has been given to personality factors such as self-concept. Previous research has demonstrated a positive and significant correlation between emotional self-concept and academic achievement and that of emotional self-concept and school type, location and type of attendance. It was the objective of this study to investigate the possible contribution of moderator variables-gender, age, grade/form, and school location type, type of attendance to learner academic achievement in secondary schools. In particular the study sought to find out the extent to which the moderator variables contributed to differences in learner emotional self-concepts and academic achievement in secondary schools. Quantitative and qualitative methodologies were used for the study involving 1281 high and low performers in secondary schools. Results showed that age, school type and type of attendance accounted for significant differences in both academic achievement and emotional self-concepts. School location and grade/form contributed to difference in emotional self-concepts only while gender accounted for no differences at all. The study concluded that the current practice by some parents to send their children to boarding schools and transfer from one school to the other better school was wise and beneficial for the academic and emotional welfare of their children. Instilling better attitudes towards school work at an earlier age was likely to have long term benefits for the child’s education. Gender accounted for no differences in either emotional self-concepts or academic achievement. Further research is required in different subjects and overall with a larger sample in different locations.

Keywords: Emotional self-concept, academic achievement, gender, school location, type of attendance, age, variables, learner, moderator, significant, personality, boarding, school, quantitative, qualitative, grade, form, secondary.

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