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Jake Cummings

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Rural Sociology

First Advisor

Donna J. Hess


This study examines the possible effects of a selected set of variables on the performance of 69 students in an undergraduate course. Richard Emerson's (1962; 1972a; 1976; 1981; 1987) exchange perspective was used to frame this examination since it was best able to fulfill the primary goal of the study -- to link background independent variables such as individual attitudes and behavioral factors such as class attendance and optional work completed with final measures of course performance. Data for the study was provided in two forms. First, students were asked to complete an informational questionnaire detailing such things as their hometown, grade level, and reason for taking the course. In addition, the course instructor provided a record of absences, test grades, and final point totals for each student consenting to participate in the research. Analyses supported the hypothesized link between class attendance and course performance. In addition, this study found a link between attendance and optional work completed which supports exchange theory's linking of investments and rewards and bolsters the choice of an exchange perspective for this study.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Academic achievement
College attendance
Motivation in education
College students -- Attitudes
Prediction of scholastic success




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