Examining stages of change with undergraduate students on academic probation
Rojas, Julio I
MetadataShow full item record
This study examined the relationship between a student’s level of readiness to change and his/her academic progress after being placed on academic probation. Readiness to change has been studied extensively using the Stages of Change (SOC) dimension of the Transtheoretical Model (TTM). The Stages of Change Questionnaire (SCQ) was developed to assess readiness to change. In the present study, a modified SCQ was used to evaluate readiness to change among undergraduate students on academic probation (N = 47). The purpose of this study was to test the use of the SOC paradigm with students on academic probation. A more specific goal was to determine whether the SCQ could help to identify distinct groups of students on academic probation in terms of their stage of change. Finally, an additional goal was to determine the degree to which a student’s stage of change influences academic performance. Results indicated that none of the SCQ subscale (Precontemplation, Contemplation, Action, Maintenance) scores were significantly correlated with the dependent variables (semester GPA residual gain score, cumulative GPA residual gain score, end of semester probation status). This finding suggests that a relationship between each stage of change and academic performance was not empirically supported. However, employing cluster analysis, three cluster groups (Precontemplation, Uninvolved, Participation) emerged using SCQ subscale scores to classify participants. Furthermore, ANOVA methods indicated that the three cluster groups were significantly different with respect to their SCQ subscale scores. The three cluster groups were not, however, significantly different with respect to their performance on the dependent variables, suggesting that the influence of SOC on academic performance was not empirically supported. Although the influence of SOC on academic performance was not statistically significant, a consistent trend toward increasing scores emerged from Precontemplation to Uninvolved to Participation cluster groups on each of the dependent variables. Suggestions for incorporating the SOC paradigm within an existing intervention model in the literature are offered. Ideas for utilizing the SCQ with undergraduate students on academic probation are proposed. Examples of interventions for students within each cluster group are delineated. Lastly, limitations of this study and ideas for future research are discussed.