Date of Award

Spring 1995

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Ivanoff, John

Second Advisor

Diez, Mary E.

Third Advisor

Dupius, A.


As a professional educator, I became acutely aware of how many students are underachieving. Because I was always motivated to do my absolute best academically, I had no conception or understanding of why some students were so unmotivated and lacking in academic aspirations. Thus, I began to pose the question, "Why are some students motivated and why are other students unmotivated?" The more I searched for an answer to this question, the more I realized the complexities of the mysterious educational dilemma of academic underachievement. This dissertation project evolved from personal musings and reflections, as well as from listening to countless parental lamentations and continual educational venting and frustrations. The completion of my doctoral dissertation has strengthened my commitment to adolescent educational concerns. As a result of the following research and manuscript, I have become a more informed and empathetic educational researcher and practitioner especially regarding the issue of academic underachievement.



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