Academic achievement among Australian youth

Document Type


Publication details

Carpenter, PG & Hayden, M 1985, 'Academic achievement among Australian youth', Australian Journal of Education, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 199-220.

Peer Reviewed



The importance of various attudinal and motivational dispositions and of various external influences on the academic achievement of students completing the final year (Year 12) of secondary schooling in three Australian States (Victoria, Western Australia, and Queensland) is examined. A model of academic achievement is proposed, and step wise multiple regression is used to analyse the date. While social origins and type of school attended are found to be significant in predicting Year 12 achievement, the most important predictors are the motivational and attitudinal dispositions of the students, the influence of significant other people, and the type of Year 12 course studied. Students who do well in Year 12 are more likely to have parents who are well educated, to have fathers who hold higher prestige occupations, and to have attended an independent rather than a government school. Factors which appear to be most important to Year 12 success are: how students regard their own ability; what type of course they study at Year 12 level; and the amount of positive teacher encouragement to proceed to further studies perceived by students.

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