Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


Dr. David Bangs


The purpose of this study was to determine the predictive effects of gender, SES, and BMI scores on academic achievement as measured by the ACT Aspire Exam for sixth- and eighth-grade students in rural, Delta schools in Arkansas. A quantitative, regression strategy was used to analyze the data. Predictor variables for each one of the hypotheses were gender, SES, and BMI scores. Criterion variables were ACT Aspire mathematics achievement and ACT Aspire reading achievement for Grades 6 and 8. Four Arkansas Delta schools participated in the study. The sample included 366 individual student scores from sixth-grade and 350 individual student scores from eighth grade. The results were analyzed by examining the combination of all predictor variables on the different criterion variables. Then, each predictor variable from each model was examined individually to determine how much it contributed to the overall prediction formula. The overall model significantly predicted mathematics and reading achievement for both Grade 6 and Grade 8. Results were consistent for each of the four hypotheses. Gender and SES significantly contributed to each of the prediction models and BMI did not.

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