Factors Underlying Academic Underachievement Among Pakistani Secondary School Students

Article Title: Factors Underlying Academic Underachievement Among Pakistani Secondary School Students

Author(s): Sara Nomaan, Rubina Hanif Tasnim Rehna

Institute(s): National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad; Riphah International University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 2016, Vol. 31, No. 1, 311-330

Correspondence Address: Rubina Hanif, National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. Email: rubinahanif@hotmail.com


Present study is aimed at investigating the predictors of academic underachievement and high-achievement among secondary school students. A total sample comprising of 352 including 213 underachievers (Mage= 15.21, SD = 1.13) with 85 boys and 128 girls, and a comparative group of 139 high-achievers (Mage = 14.64, SD = .90) including 61 boys and 78 girls was drawn from a total of 1276 students from 16 conveniently selected schools. Underachievers were identified using cut-off score method. Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (Rotgans, 2010), Student-life Stress Inventory (Akhtar, 2005), two subscales of Teacher Checklist of Social Behaviors that is Aggression and Prosocial Behavior (Loona & Kamal, 2002) and School Social Behavior Scale (Loona & Kamal, 2002) were administered on the students. MANOVA revealed significant differences on motivation, learning strategies, teachers’ reporting of social behavior, and school social behavior between high- and low-achievers. Binary logistic regression model was statistically significant for all the measured personal variables including age, locality of school, class size, and family income. Two motivation strategies i.e., control beliefs and extrinsic goal orientation and two learning strategies i.e., rehearsal and elaboration showed significant findings. Among social behaviors, aggression and academic behavior were significant predictors of achievement level, whereas all other behaviors had a nonsignificant effect.

Keywords. Underachievement, underachiever, high-achiever, learning strategies

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