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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Dennis C. Brennan

First Committee Member

Mari G. Irvin

Second Committee Member

Paul Krieger

Third Committee Member

John Milon

Fourth Committee Member

David Kan


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of self-adequacy, language proficiency and truancy among Laotian immigrant high school students, and thereby establish a baseline of knowledge for future decisions regarding the development of self-adequacy enhancement program and ESL curriculum by school administrators as an aid to deter truancy. Procedure. A total of 208 students from three high schools in a northern California school district participated in the study. The Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (CSEI) Adult Form was administered to students that were classified as truant, non-truant, limited English proficient and fluent English proficient. The raw scores of the Language Assessment Scale (LAS) of these students were obtained from the ESL and resource teachers for classification of students' English proficiency level. The attendance record of each participating student was collected from the three high schools. The four research questions addressed in the study were analyzed by means of an independent t-test, or analysis of variance (ANOVA). All questions were set at a.05 level of significance. Findings. The data indicate that non-truant students have higher self-adequacy than truant students. Non-truant students have higher LAS mean score than truant students and FEP students have higher self-adequacy than LEP students. There is a significant relationship between self-adequacy and truancy, language proficiency and truancy and self-adequacy and language proficiency. Whatever influence sex has on self-adequacy is true for both FEP and LEP students. Conclusions and recommendations. Self-adequacy and language proficiency are significantly related to Laotian students' school attendance. School administrators should implement a school based and a community based self-adequacy enhancement program and an intensive communication based ESL curriculum for these students. Recommendation for future research might include the effects of family influence, the marital status of the Laotian students, the usage of other self-esteem measures in addition to the CSEI to validate the levels of self-adequacy and the selection of a different Asian immigrant population that does not have refugee status.



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