Examining Writing Performance and Self-Perception for Low Socioeconomic Young Adolescents

Toni-Ann Barone, Richard Sinatra, Robert Eschenauer, Robert Brasco


The present case study investigated the impact of a short-term summer literacy approach on writing performance and self-perception of writing for young adolescents of low-income families residing in urban housing projects. The approach offered intensive literacy engagement to offset summer achievement loss; assisted ethnic-minority, low socioeconomic youth achieve state benchmarks in the English language arts; and pioneered research on writer self-perception for this population. Findings from pre/post use of a normed writer self-perception scale, Chi-square analysis of a camp experience survey, participant interviews and a program exit survey revealed that the 250 youth entering grades five through seven and engaged in extensive writing prompted by reading, discussion, and use of graphic organizers believed their progress and ability to write positively improved. Progress in writing was objectively measured by pre/post writing accounts of a favorite experience evaluated by calibrated raters using the state rubric system. The results of a dependent t-test evidenced a significant increase in writing performance with 157 participants increasing, 56 decreasing, and 37 achieving the same score between pre/post evaluation. A bivariate correlation comparing postwriting scores with postresults of four self-perception subscales revealed significant correlations at the .01 level.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jel.v3n3p158

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Journal of Education and Learning   ISSN 1927-5250 (Print)   ISSN 1927-5269 (Online)

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