Problem-solving appraisal, self-reported study strategies, and academic performance of first-year college students

Leona Patt Franciosi, Marquette University


The transition to college is a challenging time for students, requiring them to make many social, emotional and academic adjustments. Prior research suggests that a combination of cognitive and noncognitive factors yield the highest prediction of academic success during students' freshman year. The present study was designed to explore the relationships among self-perception of problem-solving abilities, self-reported learning and study strategies, and academic performance of first-year women college students. The sample consisted of 108 first-semester students from a small urban women's college. The subjects range in age from 17 to 52 years. All of the subjects included in this study were full-time students enrolled in twelve or more credits. Eighty-three percent were single, and nineteen percent had at least one child. Forty-six percent were employed while attending school and sixty-eight percent commuted to school. Each student who volunteered for the study completed a demographic questionnaire, the Problem-Solving Inventory (PSI), and the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI). The dependent variable was academic achievement, which was determined by an academic status committee of the college at the end of the first semester. It was found that the grading method employed by the college produced little variability in academic achievement. A multiple regression analysis found no significant relationship among self-reported problem-solving abilities, self-reported learning strategies, and academic achievement. It is suggested that the replication of this study be conducted in a college setting that uses a traditional grading method. A number of post hoc observations were made. Age was found to be significantly correlated with effort (p $<$.05). Learning and study strategies were significantly correlated to problem-solving abilities (p $<$.001). None of the students who entered college on probationary status dropped out of school.

Recommended Citation

Franciosi, Leona Patt, "Problem-solving appraisal, self-reported study strategies, and academic performance of first-year college students" (1996). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9719081.