Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

To See Ourselves: A Mixed Methods Study of the Relationship Between Place, Mindset, and Grit in Appalachian First Year College Students
by Slone, Amanda, Ed.D., Northwest Nazarene University, 2020, 155; 28031038
Abstract (Summary)

Recent educational research has focused on non-cognitive success factors such as mindset and grit. The belief that intelligence is malleable and the ability to persevere in the face of challenges are considered two factors that are more reliable success predictors than academic grades or test scores. Non-cognitive factors are also believed to be stronger predictors than socio-economic status. There has been no previous research that explores the potential connection between place identity and mindset and grit. This mixed-methods study sought to find patterns in mindset and grit in first year college students in Appalachia and how students’ place identity influenced their non-cognitive factors. Quantitative survey data showed first year students in Appalachia score in the low end of the growth mindset scale and the average range of the grit continuum. Qualitative data showed students perceived themselves as grittier than their quantitative scores suggest. Exploration of students’ identity perception revealed students in Appalachia felt conflicting motivational forces that affected their non-cognitive factors. Positive aspects of their identity, such as familial support, pushed them forward, while negative factors such as stereotypes and poverty pushed back. The conflicting forces hinder students from further developing the mindset and grit they perceive for themselves and indicate cultural factors have a strong influence on non-cognitive traits.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Curtis, Heidi
Commitee: Werth, Lori, Fox, Brian
School: Northwest Nazarene University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Idaho
Source: DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher education, Educational leadership, Educational administration, Educational evaluation
Keywords: Appalachia, Grit, Mindset, Non-cognitive factors, Place identity, First year college students
Publication Number: 28031038
ISBN: 9798662567580
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