Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Justin Low

First Committee Member

Rachelle Hackett

Second Committee Member

Amy Scott Brown


There is a gap in the academic achievement of African American males when compared to their peers, this gap has been maintained for many years. The purpose of this study is to conduct a quantitative non-experimental secondary analysis utilizing a national data set focusing on African American male students from the 4th through the 6th grade. To test the hypothesis that, all things being equal, social skills positively affect academics in African American boys and that social information processing, school commitment, and work habits mediate this effect. In total, 60 African American male students in 4th through 6th grades who participated in the NICHD study were included in the data set. None of the proposed mediators mediated the effects of social skills on academic achievement while controlling for socioeconomic status, classroom climate, school resources, and previous school performance. To better understand the relation between social skills and achievement, it is recommended that future research associated with the variables identified in this research focus on one academic year opposed to a three-year gap.





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