THE RELATIONSHIPS OF DENTAL HYGIENE STUDENT'S COGNITIVE STYLES AND INTERPERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS TO ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND SATISFACTION

MARCIA MARIE BOWERS, Marquette University

Abstract

New and better predictors of college academic achievement and attitude can be of value initially for student selection and subsequently for individualization. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships of cognitive style and interpersonal skill to achievement and attitude in two dental hygiene program components, science lecture courses and clinical courses. Participants were 167 students of Marquette University School of Dental Hygiene. Each completed a cognitive style scale and a program attitude scale. Instructors completed interpersonal rating scales. Grades and traditional predictor data were obtained from student records. Data were conceptualized within a regression equation approach for student selection, and a directional hypothesis approach for individualization. The directional hypothesis analysis employed MANOVAs, and a t test. The .05 significance level was applied for all statistical tests except the t test where the .025 level was used. The regression equation approach, including traditional predictors, resulted in cognitive style and interpersonal skill, contributing jointly as significant predictors of achievement in science lecture and clinical courses. Considered separately with traditional predictors, interpersonal skill significantly contributed to achievement prediction in both program components; cognitive style significantly contributed to achievement prediction in clinical courses only. Directional hypothesis results showed that: students with high interpersonal skill had significantly higher GPAs in and attitudes toward clinical courses than students with low skill (p < .001, .005, respectively); field-independent students with high interpersonal skill had significantly higher grades in science lecture and clinical courses than field-dependent students with low interpersonal skill (p < .001); field-independent students with high interpersonal skill had commensurate achievement in both program components. Descriptive statistics showed that participants were relatively field independent and had a preference and higher achievement for clinical courses compared to science lecture courses. Results were discussed; implications for student selection and individualization were examined. Recommendations for future research were presented.

Recommended Citation

MARCIA MARIE BOWERS, "THE RELATIONSHIPS OF DENTAL HYGIENE STUDENT'S COGNITIVE STYLES AND INTERPERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS TO ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND SATISFACTION" (January 1, 1983). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. Paper AAI8410833.
http://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI8410833

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