AuthorBurross, Heidi Legg
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this research was to explore variables related to the transition from elementary to middle level school. Student perceptions of the transition, attributions in motivation, and anxiety were all measured, which are similar to variables reported by other transition researchers in the literature. Instruments administered to the students included the Locus of Control and Attribution Style Inventory (Jerabek, 2000; Appendix D), "What I Think and Feel" Manifest Anxiety Scale for Children-Revised (Reynolds and Richmond, 1978; Appendix E), and a Junior High Transition Questionnaire (Appendix F). Fifty-two sixth grade students in five classes at two schools made up the sample. The demographic variables these students possessed include both genders, ages 11 and 12, several ethnicities, and prior school transition experience. Measurements occurred at baseline (early spring) and just before and just after a school-sponsored intervention program The intervention program was a half-day visit by the sixth graders to the junior high school. Literature before 1997 (since the string of school-related violence deaths) was compared to research since 1997 and the findings of this research in terms of differences in school-related safety issues. Pre-1997 literature did not use safety language as strong as was used post-1997. Some of the students in this research had concerns about their safety, mentioning weapons, drugs, and gangs as some of the specific worries. Analyses of mean differences using ANOVA and t-tests found few differences among the demographic groups on the measures. Anxiety did fluctuate over time for the sample, with greatest anxiety reported just before the intervention. Student attributions were related to anxiety levels in the sample. Degree of anxiety changed over time in different ways for students with internal attributions versus students with external attributions. Students with higher anxiety levels asked more questions about the school transition and junior high experiences on the questionnaire than did the lower anxiety students, but the low-anxiety group had questions that were more specific. Students with prior school transition experiences tended to have greater anxieties than students without school transition experience.
Degree ProgramGraduate College