This study examined the relationship of students’ needs profile and their academic performance and determined the internal consistency of the instrument used. A total of 218 BS Psychology students across level were the respondent of the study. The adapted form of Student Needs Inventory by Torres et. al., (1989) was used. The results showed that significant correlation exists between academic need and academic performance (r = .14) and between psychological-emotional need and academic performance (r = .14). The inter item correlation of the ten variables in the instrument, The Student Needs Inventory is consistent with the result conducted to BS Psychology students. The highest correlation also found to be .70 between career and spiritual-moral. Generally, it suggests that the instrument used is valid and reliable showing that these correlations with all variables range of reliability .31 to .70. The correlation shows may also mean that spiritual – moral background of BS Psychology students will further intensify as soon as they practice their field of profession or expertise where ethical standards in the profession as a psychologist is valued much. The BS Psychology students have psychological-emotional needs that are not met. Students are either aware or unaware of their psychological-emotional needs. It is also interesting to note that being Psychology students, they are sensitive to their psychological well-being. They have the all the tendency to satisfy these needs when they feel they are deprived of.
On the basis of these findings, it was recommended that additional guidance counselors should be employed at Cavite State University and that they should provide a necessary assistance to students to enable them to overcome both their academic and psychological-emotional concerns. Along the students’ journey of getting the degree in Psychology, both their academic and psychological needs found to correlate with academic performance. However, correlations do not show causation. It cannot be inferred that academic and psychological needs affect their academic performance. It may or may not affect academic performance but there is no direct conclusion.
Keywords: academic, career, social, spiritual-moral
In 2001, the Cavite State University Department of Social Sciences and Humanities offered a BS Psychology program. The first batch of BS Psychology graduates consists of 35 students in year 2004. Assessing students’ needs and measuring the academic performance of BS Psychology students is one of the priorities in the research thrusts of the university. The purpose of this paper is to identify those needs that needs to correlate with school performance in all academic subjects. This report also highlights the university’s commitment to produce globally competitive students.
The academic performance is defined in this paper as the overall general point average of the students’ academic subjects from 1st semester to 2nd semester of SY 2006-2007. This excludes their subject in Physical Education and National Service Training Program (NSTP).
There has been a burgeoning research literature on the interconnection among academic performance, needs in academic, career, character-building, economic, family, physical, psychological-emotional, sexual, social and spiritual-moral. Likewise, several environmental and psychological factors affect the academic performance of students in the tertiary education. These can be physically and emotionally challenging, exhausting, and stressful. Various students’ needs arise especially when a student is under pressure, challenged or stressed.
Academic needs and Academic Performance
Every school offering BS/ BA Psychology provides students or designs a program that caters students’ academic needs. In addition to this, academic needs are relative to individuals’ perception and outlook during their stay in the college.
The Psychological Science Organization at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg is a unique student organization that was created to afford a career and post-graduate preparatory network to USFSP psychology majors, and to provide information about relevant institutional psychology matters to non-majors. This organization serves an advocacy function for psychology majors by communicating psychology students' academic needs to program faculty and administration.
Career and Academic Performance
Careers Scotland research conducted 2004 examined the links between career goals and academic performance among pupils in their third to sixth years. More than 1500 pupils took part in the study and the key findings of the research indicate that there is real evidence of connections between the two regardless of the academic ability and socio-economic class of the young people. Results of the their studies shows that 1.) The scale of the research reveals that approximately 2 in 3 pupils have career goals 2.) Pupils who appear to be leaving school with no sense of career planning may not have reached their potential in school 3.) Females carry more positive attitudes than males regarding school and outperform their male counterparts, consistent with other research
Character-Building, Spiritual and Academic Performance
Afterschool Alliance (2003) contested that building of character and promoting positive behavior is an important part of every afterschool program. Afterschool programs improve students’ performance and interest in school :
1.) Children and youth who regularly attend high-quality afterschool programs have better grades and conduct in school; more academic and enrichment opportunities; better peer relations and emotional adjustment and lower incidences of drug-use, violence and pregnancy. (U.S. Department of Education, September 2000);
2.) 21st CCLC participants in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have shown improved school attendance. At one school, absentee days dropped from 568 days to 135; at another the drop was from 148 to 23. (U.S. Department of Education, September 2000);
3.) Participants in the Boys and Girls' Clubs of America's national educational enhancement program, Project Learn, increased their grade average and showed improved school attendance and study skills. ( S. Schinke, 1999);
4.) High school youth in afterschool programs are at least 5 to 10 percent more likely to earn "A"s and "B"s; have attended a cultural event or visited a museum in the past month; say they love school or like school a lot; believe being a good student is important; say their schools are preparing them very well for college and plan to continue their education after graduation. (Peter D. Hart, Research Associates, 1999);
5.) Higher levels of participation in LA's BEST (Better Educated Students for Tomorrow) afterschool program led to better school attendance resulting in higher academic achievement on standardized tests of mathematics, reading and language arts. (D. Huang et. al, May 2000);
6.) Students who participate in extracurricular activities achieve better grades, have lower rates of truancy, attain higher levels of achievement in college and feel more attached to their schools, as documented by a 17-year study that followed 1,800 sixth-graders in 10 Michigan school districts through high school and college. (Education Week, October 2000).
Economic and Academic Performance
Yinusa, M.A. & Basil A.C. (2008) discussed basic issues in home background according to PISA (Programme International Student Assessment, 2000) that influences academic and educational success of students and schoolwork. It was revealed that the quality and regularity of the satisfaction of the provision of the child’s functional survival and academic needs. He added that poor parental care with gross deprivation of social and economic needs of a child usually yield poor academic performance.
Family and Academic Performance
Walker Katrina L. & Tammy Satterwhite (2002) has cited that the family plays a meaningful role in a child's academic performance and development (Cornell & Grossberg, 1987; Thompson, Alexander, Entwisle, 1988; Tucker, Harris, Brady and Herman, 1996).
According to Eweniyi, G. D, “Reviewed literature indicated that there is an awareness of the importance of the home environment or family on pupil's/student's academic performance. The home has a great influence on the students' psychological, emotional, social and economic state. In the view of Ajila and Olutola (2000), the state of the home affects the individual since the parents are the first socializing agents in an individual's life.”
Jun Xu, commented that the effects of family on educational outcomes have been described as multifaceted, particularly involving family class status (especially socio economic status), family structure (both parental and sibship structure), and parental investment. He cited (Duncan and Blau 1967; Sewell and Hauser 1992) of the association between family and education have sought to understand the effects of social origins on educational outcome, and added paramount relevance to family background in determining educational outcomes.
Cano F. & Elawar M.C (2008), in their study of secondary school students examined the complex interrelationships between family environment variables (antecedents) as predictors of learning strategies and academic performance (consequences) and of epistemological beliefs (mediators) and tested the latter as mediators of the relationship between antecedents and consequences. The results of path analysis support a hypothesis generated from a model that is bound both by the theory and by previous research. According to them, the better the family’s intellectual climate, the higher the students’ mature beliefs about learning, and consequently, her/his Deep and Metacognitive strategies and academic performance.
Physical and Academic Performance
The researchers from the John W. Gardner Center at Stanford University use the Youth Data Archive (YDA) to follow students over four academic years. The study links students’ California Standardized Test (CST) scores in math and English Language Arts (ELA), administered every year, to their performance on the California Physical Fitness Test (PFT), which tests students in grades 5, 7, and 9. The result of their findings are: 1.) Students who passed the PFT in both years had higher CST scores than those who failed in both years; 2.) The difference started as early as 4th grade—one year before students first took the PFT—and continued throughout students’ academic careers; 3.) Students whose fitness improved between 5th and 7th grade had higher CST scores than students whose fitness declined; 4.) Only improvements in overall fitness, not any single fitness measure, are linked to achievement gains. Heller et. al., (1996) mentioned that Students who have physical disabilities may underachieve in the school setting when their unique needs are not met.
The California School Board Association (2006) published an analysis of the Journal of “Sports and Exercise Physiology,” that nearly 200 previously conducted studies that evaluated the interaction between physical activity and behavior, found evidence that regular physical activity supports learning. One study found that: 1) California schools with a high percentage of students who did not participate in regular physical activity experienced smaller subsequent gains in SAT-9 test scores than schools with more active students; 2) higher achievement was associated with higher levels of fitness at each of the three grade levels measured and; 3) physical activity had beneficial consequences for academic progress in both low- and high-performing schools, regardless of location or socioeconomic status.
Moreover, the Strong National Myseum of Play, News Release (2009) cited that strenuous physical play may improve academic performance and reduce childhood obesity according to Review in American Journal of Play published Winter 2009 issue.
Psychological Emotional and Academic Performance
According to Badali (2003), “it may appear rudimentary to comment that Psychology students need to pay adequate attention to their personal lives. However, attaining balance between academic and personal pursuits is easier said than done.”
From the words of Sampson, (2004), he said that many studies have been conducted to investigate the relationships between schools and their effects on academic performance and mental health. He cited (Anderson and Resnick, 1997) in his one of the cursory reviews of the scholastic literature on the subject of academic performance revealed that comparing the positive and negative effects of school characteristics reveals many instances where positive influences on student achievement coincide with negative effects on mental well-being. The benefits of a small school on academic performance match the detrimental effects small and private schools have on mental health. Single-sex schools are beneficial to girls’ academic performance, while at the same time being detrimental to students’ psychological wellbeing.
In the work of Farooq, (2003) it is noted “that emotions can negatively impact ones behavior if they are not dealt with properly or they remain unfulfilled. Unfulfilled emotions tend to adversely affect creativity and success of pupils. The emotional state also leads to the development of different psychological problems, which significantly influences ones personal, social and occupational life”.
It is also interesting to note O'Hayer (1997) that according to her several other studies have identified psychological and emotional factors which a deemed critical for success for persons with learning disabilities.
Sexual and Academic Performance
The US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), (2003). It is conducted every two years during the spring and provides data representative of 9th through 12th grade students in public and private schools throughout the United States. The results of their findings show a negative association between sexual risk behaviors and academic achievement after controlling for sex, race/ethnicity, and grade level. This means that students with higher grades are less likely to engage in sexual risk behaviors than their classmates with lower grades, and students who do not engage in sexual risk behaviors receive higher grades than their classmates who do engage in sexual risk behaviors.
Rector (2005) cited the Add Health data show that teens who abstain from sex during high school years are substantially less likely to be expelled from school; less likely to drop out of high school; and more likely to attend and graduate from college. When compared to sexually active teens, those who abstain from sexual activity during high school years (e.g., at least until age 18) are: 1.) 60 percent less likely to be expelled from school; 2.) 50 percent less likely to drop out of high school; 3.) almost twice as likely to graduate from college.
According to Rector (2005), the linkage between academic achievement and teen abstinence has two primary explanations. First, teens who abstain will be subject to less emotional turmoil and fewer psychological distractions; this will enable them to better focus on schoolwork. Second, abstinence and academic achievement are promoted by common underlying character traits. Teens who abstain are likely to have greater future orientation, greater impulse control, greater perseverance, greater resistance to peer pressure, and more respect for parental and societal values. These traits are likely to contribute to higher academic achievement
Pearson (2004) cited that there are several studies have found a link between students’ school performance and educational aspirations and the timing of their first intercourse (Capaldi, Crosby, and Stoolmiller 1996 ; Furstenberg, Morgan, Moore, and Peterson1987; Harris, Duncan, and Boisjoly 2002; Schvaneveldt, Miller, and Berry 2001; Lammers, Ireland, Resnick, and Blum 2000).
Social and Academic Performance
Marquez (2006) said that school teachers and parents always have been concerned about children’s academic success and social adaptation both in and out of the classroom. She cited Engelberg & Sjoberj, (2004), that previous studies using a variety of self-report measures have shown that Emotional Intelligence is associated with important social outcomes, including social adjustment.
According to Ragozzino et al (2003) the nature of learning, certainly in school settings, is fundamentally social. Social and emotional competence refers to the capacity to recognize and manage emotions, solve problems effectively, and establish and maintain positive relationships with others. She cited Feshbach and Feshbach )1987); Chen, Rubin, and Li (1997) that in the classroom the most successful children are likely to be actively and prosocially engaged with their peers and teachers.
Furthermore, Steedly et., al (2008) wrote that the classroom is one such environment children must learn to navigate. Successful learning requires students to interact closely with teachers and peers. In addition to their general importance for daily interaction, social skills can have a big impact on a child’s ability to succeed in an academic setting.
Data Gathering Procedure
Formal request to conduct study was forwarded to the university registrar and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and chairman of the Department of Social Sciences and Humanities to gather pertinent information concerning BS Psychology students from 1st year to 4th year students including shiftees, transferees and irregular students. The time frame of the study covers the 1st semester and 2nd semester of SY 2006-2007.
The Student Needs Inventory by Torres et. al., (1989) is locally standardized instrument adapted in this study. The questionnaire consisted of 100 items covering students’ need in academic, career, character-building, economic, family, physical, psychological-emotional, sexual, social and spiritual-moral. Academic need pertains to one’s need along scholastic adjustment and performance. Career need pertains to one’s needs in the world of work. Character building pertains to the need related to the improvement of one’s traits. Economic pertains to one’s financial and material needs. Family need refers to one’s needs in relation to his family. Psychological-emotional need pertains to one’s need for emotional stability and psychological support. Physical need refers to one’s physiological and bodily needs including need for sports and recreation. Sexual need refers to one’s needs like to be loved and accepted by the opposite se; coping with sexual aberrations; need for information on human sexuality and sex. Social need refers to one’s needs in relation to others. Spiritual-moral pertains to one’s need in relation with his Creator and the observance of moral laws.
Validity & Reliability
Correlations among the ten need areas of the Students Needs Inventory range from slight to substantial (r = .29 to r = .70 See Table 1). There is a marked relationship (r = .70 between Spiritual- Moral and Character-Building need areas.
Table 1- Matrix of Intercorrelations Among the Students Inventory Need Areas (N = 8,345)
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Table 2. Sample Items of Ten Student Need Areas and their Mean Score
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To analyze and interpret the data in the study, STATISTICA software was used to run the data. Frequency counts, means and percentages were used to describe BS Psychology needs in ten areas, and then the level of Academic performance during the first semester and 2nd semester of SY 2006-2007 was determined. Pearson r product moment correlation coefficient (r) was used to determine the intercorrelation of the students’ need variables and academic performance.
Among the variables of student needs, Table 3 shows that the physical need appears to have the highest mean 62.31% SD = 25.90. It means that BS Psychology students have high demands to meet their physical needs. On the contrary, the least prioritized is the academic need, 49.10 % SD = 28.71, that explains the 872.32 variance. BS Psychology students performed better on the 2nd semester SY 2006-2007 where they get an average of 2.0 in their GPA as compared during the first semester, where the GPA is 2.14. However, in the average GPA during the 1st and 2nd semester, the GPA is 2.07, in which the difference is not that significant.
Table 3 Descriptive Statistics of Students’ Needs Variables and Academic Performance (AP) N = 218
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.During the 2nd semester of 2006-2007, the BS Psychology students performed academically higher than the 1st semester. Table 4 shows that five variables of Students’ needs found to have a positive correlation with academic performance and significant at p < .05: the Academic need (r = 0.18), Psychological-emotional (r = 0.17) Sexual need (r = 0.16) Economic Need (r = 0.14) and Family need (r = 0.13). However, when computing the general average of the students, only the Academic need (r = 0.18) and Psychological-emotional (r = 0.17) were found to have a significant correlation with the academic performance as shown in their general average. However, as shown in table1, the highest mean is 67.01 %, Physical needs. It only shows that BS Psychology students need to be physically fit in order to face their academic needs as well as their psychological-emotional needs to measure their success in academic performance. Second to the highest of the overall mean is the social need with 62.31 %. It reveals that BS Psychology students have less time for socialization or somehow deprived of it. They tend to feel that when their social needs are met, these will uplift their psychological well-being.
On the other hand, among the ten variables, it was the academic needs that have the lowest mean, 49.40%. It also suggests that students tend to pay no attention to this area. While it is true that majority of the students do not aim excellence but simply to graduate or finish the degree, it can be a contributing factor why it significantly affect their academic performance.
Grades and Grading System
The Cavite State University adopts the numerical grading system of “1.00” to “5.00” where “1.00” is the highest grade and “5.00” is a failing grade. The system of grading is as follows:
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GPA shall mean grade point average i.e. the sum of grades multiplied by required number of units divided by the total number of academic units required.
All units earned in other colleges or universities shall be evaluated on the basis of the following table of conversion.
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Table 4. The correlation of Students’ needs variables and Academic Performance on the 1st and 2nd semester of 2006-2007
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* significant at p <.05
Table 5 shows that inter-item correlation the ten (10) students’ needs variables have significant correlation among themselves that ranges from r = .31 to r = .70. Career needs and Economic needs were found to have the least correlation (r = .31) while Career needs and Spiritual- moral (r = .70) appears to have the highest correlation above all other variables.
Table 5. Correlation Matrix between and among the students’ needs variables and academic performance of BS Psychology students SY 2006-2007
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Discussions and Recommendations
Descriptive statistics shows that the Academic Performance of BS Psychology students with a GPA of 2.07 during the school year of 2006-2007 range from 83 % to 85 % according the university grading system. It means that this GPA is between “Good” and “Satisfactory.” Students, therefore, perform moderately well.
The intercorrelation of the ten variables in the instrument, The Student Needs Inventory is consistent with the result conducted to BS Psychology students N = 218. The highest correlation also found to be .70 between Career and Spiritual-Moral. Generally, it suggests that the instrument used is valid and reliable showing that these correlations with all variables range of reliability .31 to .70. The correlation shows may also mean that Spiritual – Moral background of BS Psychology students will further intensify as soon as they practice their field of profession or expertise where ethical standards in the profession as a psychologist is valued much.
The finding also reveals that BS psychology students do not meet their academic needs in the program. These can be an offshoot of several factors that may affect their academic performance. It is suggested that BS Psychology curriculum must be reviewed by the group of faculty members concerned in order to realign or address their academic needs. of the It is also recommended that before the review of the BS Psychology curriculum, make a brief survey among them what students’ needs should be addressed and how should the BS Psychology program be improved.
The study also shows that BS Psychology students have psychological-emotional needs that are not met. Students are either aware or unaware of their psychological-emotional needs. It is also interesting to note that being Psychology students, they are sensitive to their psychological well-being. They have the all the tendency to seek this need when they are deprived of.
It is important to note here that is stipulated in the University Code, there are only three tests that enrollees need to pass: 1.) Mental Ability Test (MAT), 2.) Science and Math Aptitude Test (SMAT), 3.) Essay/Communication Test. Unfortunately, they do not give at least one psychological test to determine the mental or psychological condition of all students entering the university. It conveys that all BS Psychology students are not tested upon entrance in the university whether they are mentally or psychologically fit to study or fit in their course. It is therefore suggested that at least validated intelligence and personality test be given to students who wish to enroll in the university.
Along the students’ journey of getting the degree in Psychology, both their academic and psychological needs found to correlate with academic performance. However, correlations do not show causation. It cannot be inferred that academic and psychological needs affect their academic performance. It may or may not affect academic performance but there is no direct conclusion, in this sense.
The words of Farooq, (2003) it is noteworthy to be cited that “emotions can negatively impact ones behavior if they are not dealt with properly or they remain unfulfilled…the emotional state also leads to the development of different psychological problems, which significantly influences ones personal, social and occupational life.” The study is limited to investigate what are those aspects in their lives that affect their psychological-emotional well-being. The instrument may not cover up all the psychological needs of every student, hence, a qualitative study on this matter may suggest another theory that may possibly explain BS Psychology students’ emotional behavior in taking this degree or other factors that may possibly affect their psychological well-being.
The Cavite State University has only one official guidance counselor that caters to more than 10,000 students. Each college has one designated guidance counselor but the there is lack of concrete psychological programs for students who are in need of them. To produce globally competitive students, it is highly recommended that more guidance counselors should be employed in CvSU and that they should provide necessary assistance to students to enable them to overcome both their academic and psychological- emotional concerns. If these issues have been addressed properly, it can be inferred that BS Psychology students may manifest or exhibit better school academic performance.
In similar principle, the official organization of BS Psychology students should initiate to conduct a survey among their members that will address both their academic and psychological needs in order to psychologically take good care of their well-being.
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