Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



First Advisor

George F. Donovan

Second Advisor

James W. Hanlon


The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of correlation between the social factors presented in the survey and the achievement in reading of students in the upper intermediate grades in schools directed by the Sisters of the Presentation Order in South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana. It was hoped that the findings in the study would show the strengths and weaknesses of certain social factors and thus furnish information that could be used to improve the student's social condition which in turn would improve his achievement in reading ability.

The participants in this study were the students in the sixth, seventh and, or, eighth grades of six schools directed by the Sisters of the Presentation Order in South Dakota and Minnesota. These Sisters have t heir Motherhouse in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

These schools were classified as two of the smaller schools, two of the medium-sized schools and two of the larger schools according to their enrollment during the school year of 1964 and 1965. The two small schools chosen were St. Stephen School, Bridgewater, South Dakota, and St. Peter School, Jefferson, South Dakota. The two medium-sized schools chosen were St. Lawrence School, Milbank, South Dakota, and St. Thomas School, Madison, South Dakota. The two large schools chosen were Sacred Heart School, Aberdeen, South Dakota, and St . Stephen School, Anoka, Minnesota. All these schools include grades one through eight and the schools consist of both urban and rural population. In the larger schools the percentage of urban students is highest while in the smaller schools the percentage of rural students is highest. There were 333 students used in this survey but ten had to be omitted because of insufficient data. The schools chosen and the students used are considered a cross-section of all the schools directed by the Presentation Sisters of Aberdeen, South Dakota.

The results of these tests when their I.Q. is not a variable showed the following: there was more correlation between the home and its environment in reading ability of those in the Low Achievers group than there was in the Average Achievers group. There was little or no correlation in the High Achievers group.

The Low Achievers group had no parents engaged in professional occupations . (Table 9) So far as ownership of their homes and parents practicing the same religion, there was very little difference between t he high and low achievers . (Table 9) Divorce or separation has a very low percentage and none were found in either the High or Low Achievers ' groups . This, of course, could be expected as the schools surveyed are Catholic and the percentage of divorced or separated parents in Catholic schools is very low.

The most noticeable correlation is between the education of the parents and the achievement in reading ability. In the Low I.Q. group of the low achievers in reading ability, (Table 3 and Table 6) there were no parents who had gone to college and only 29.6% of the parents of the low achievers had had any college education. (Table 9) There were 11.1% of the parents in the Low Achievers group who had only an elementary education. The rest of the parents had some high school education, but not all of them had finished the four years. In the High Achievers group there were no parents who had just an elementary education and 50% of them had some college education. There seems very little variation between the groups so far as parents united in practicing their religion is concerned. (17.7%-14.8%) (Table 9) In the category of working mothers it seems to go in the reverse order. The Low Achievers group have the largest percentage of working mothers, the Average Achievers group places second and the High Achievers have the lowest percentage. (18.5%--29.1%--53.3%) (Table 14)