An exploratory study of achievement need among girls attending secondary schools in Jamaica

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This study was designed to investigate achievement need (n-Ach), and selected factors that might inhibit or enhance this need, in girls attending three types of secondary schools in Jamaica, namely, the traditional grammar school, the technical high school, and the New Secondary school. Data were collected from a sample of 165 Grade 11 girls from nine schools (four urban, five rural). Results of the data analysis suggested that: 1) girls in a good school environment, who had favourable early educational experiences, and also those in the "high-status" grammar school, would display low n-Ach, while the converse would be true for girls in low-status schools, who had poor early educational experiences and an unfavourable school environment; 2) a poor home environment and low anxiety would result in low n-Ach, even if good study habits were in evidence, with the corollary also being true, that a good home environment and high anxiety would result in high n-Ach, even if study habits were poor; 3) School Type, Anxiety, and Early Education were the best predictors of n-Ach; 4) girls attending the "low status" institutions were the most appropriately placed; and 5) New Secondary girls had a significantly higher level of n-Ach than either of the other two groups


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