Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Louise L. MacKay

Committee Members

Russell O. Mays, Gunapala Edirisooriya, Elizabeth Ralston


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among four specific typologies of environmental factors and at-risk teenagers. The four typologies explored were influences by parents and peers, teachers, educational setting, and factors relating to school behavior.

Six research questions guided the study and six null hypotheses were formulated and tested at the .05 level of significance. The degree of relationship between the independent variables and the environmental factors was analyzed by using the Independent samples t-test and One Way ANOVA. The study sample consisted of 195 middle school students in three counties in Northwestern North Carolina and Northeast Tennessee.

The results of this study indicate significant relationships between students and two factors, teacher expectations and school behavior as studied in the three counties. The relationships between students and the factor, parents and peers, appear to be equally strong for all students in each of the three counties. This also held true for the factor, educational setting, and the students. An inherent purpose of this study was to enhance perceptions of the value of parent involvement, to encourage more research on the relationships between peers and student achievement, and to show that teacher expectations and the educational setting can have a positive impact on student achievement. Parents, peers, students, teachers, and educational settings are allies in that they share the common goal of helping students to become lifelong learners.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.