Comparing the Personal Development Test Scores against GPA, GRADE, and AGE of Typical High School Students

By DeMoulin, Donald F.; Walsh, Robert J. | Journal of Instructional Psychology, March 2002 | Go to article overview
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Comparing the Personal Development Test Scores against GPA, GRADE, and AGE of Typical High School Students


DeMoulin, Donald F., Walsh, Robert J., Journal of Instructional Psychology


The Personal Development Test (PDT) (2001) is designed to assess the personal development of individuals, and as a meaningful index of one's Global Functioning as described in the DSM-IV (1994). It is structured on the basis of the Dewey definition of democracy--"the interdependence of independent individuals." The 200 true/false type items are distributed with 25 in each of the 8 part scores. The first four of those scores seek to measure Personal Maturity for the "independence" element in the Dewey definition, and the second four parts to measure Social Integration for the "interdependence" one.

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Group Involved

The 292 individuals taking the test were typical students from a high school in Tennessee. They ranged in age from 14.00 to 20.00 years, with a mean age of 16.26, and a standard deviation of 1.287. There were 171 females, and 121 males in the group. It included 50 9th graders, 65 10th graders, 28 11th graders, 145 12th graders, and 4 high school graduates.

Relation to Grade Point Average

A Multiple Linear Regression Analysis using a constant was computed against the PDT scores and Grade Point Average (GPA) of all students as depicted in Table I below. All different combinations of the PDT scores yielded a Multiple R that was statistically significant at the 01 level of confidence or better. It is clear that for this group of high school students that the Grade Point Average (GPA) for these students was determined in large part on the basis of the personal development of the students. Students with the better personal development received the higher Grade Point Average (GPA).

Personal Development and Student GRADE in School

A Multiple Linear Regression Analysis using a constant was computed against scores on the PDT and the present Grade for the 292 High School Students as depicted in Table 2 below. For this group of 292 high school students the four part scores on The Personal Development Test (PDT) included in the first half of the test measuring Personal Maturity (PERMAT) showed no statistical significant relationship with the present GRADE of the 292 high school students. All scores on the PDT related to the second part of the PDT, and having to do with social integration (getting along with people) showed a statistically significant relationship at the 01 level of confidence or better.

Personal Development and AGE

A Multiple Linear Regression Analysis using a constant was computed against PDT scores and Age for 292 High School Students from all grades in a Tennessee high school. The results are depicted in Table 3 below. All PDT scores included in Social Integration (SOCINT) obtained statistically significant Multiple Rs at the 01 level of confidence or better. Non of the PDT scores included in Personal Development (PERDEV) were statistically significant. For this group of high school students "getting along with people" tended to improve as the students grew older; while scores having to do with Personal Maturity (PERMAT) did not change significantly.

Discussion

It is clear from the data in Table 1 above that the general effectiveness of students in this study that the personal development of students involved in large part determined their success in high school. Since 145 of the 292 students were seniors in the beginning of their graduating year, it is clear from the data in Tables 2 and 3 that their personal development is largely in the second part of the PDT dealing with getting along with people; not in terms of information gained in going through the grades from freshman to senior, or in growing older.

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