This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Relationship between Educational Outcomes and Mental Health of Turkish-American Adolescents




Dag, Asli

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The purpose of the present study is: (a) to identify the effects of internalizing problems, externalizing problems, and total problems (as measured by the of the Youth Self Report [YSR] and the parent-reported Child Behavior Checklist [CBCL]) on parent-reported students Grade Point Average (GPA) and an academic performance scale; (b) to identify the effects of gender, parental education level (college degree vs graduate school degree), and age groups (11-14 vs 15-18) on internalizing problems, externalizing problems, and a total score (which consists of these two scales plus additional items related to social problems scale and thought problems scale) both types of problems combined on the adolescent- reported survey and parent-reported survey; (c) and to uncover the relationship between parent- and student-reported ratings. The sample consisted of seventy-five Turkish-American adolescents whose ages ranged from eleven years old to eighteen years old. The YSR survey (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001) was administered to each test subject, and a parent or guardian received and scored the CBCL (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001) to report their child’s emotional and behavioral problems The overall results indicated that being an immigrant child was not a risk indicator for psychiatric disorders or poor school performance in this sample. Multiple linear regression results showed that the total YSR score (student report) and total CBCL score (parent report) was significantly predicted with GPA (β = 0.27 and β = -0.37). Based on these results, it appeared that parent scores negatively predicted GPA, so that a lower total score on the emotional and behavioral problems checklist was correlated with higher GPA. In contrast, youth-reported YSR total scores were positively correlated, so more reported ii problems were associated with higher GPA. Three paired-samples t-test results suggested that parents and adolescents were not in agreement on the internalizing and externalizing emotional and behavioral problems of the adolescents. The parents reported higher externalizing problems while adolescents reported greater internalizing problems. These differences cancelled each other out in the total score, where the two groups did not differ significantly in total problems. Pearson correlations suggested that there were modest correlations between internalizing YSR and CBCL (r = 0.59), between externalizing YSR and CBCL (r = 0.33), and between total YSR and CBCL (r = 0.59), suggesting some consistency in reporting. Results from six backward elimination regression analyses suggested that females had more externalizing and total YSR problems than males. The negative value of each age group’s coefficient indicated that the second age group (15-18) has lower externalizing and total YSR scores than the first age group (11-14). In addition, the adolescents whose parents had college degrees had more externalizing problems than the adolescents whose parents had graduate school degrees. Based on the results, suggestions for future research are made. Lack of variability in socioeconomic status limits the generalizability of this study to other large immigrant populations in the United States. Suggestions are also made for parents and education leaders based on the factors affecting educational outcomes and emotional and behavioral problems of Turkish-American adolescents.