Perceptions of family cohesion and achievement orientation among runaway adolescents: Understanding school performance

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The Ohio State University

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This paper examined the relationship between the perceptions of family cohesion, and achievement orientation, as related to grade point average (gpa) and school problems. The sample included 242 substance abusing runaway adolescents recruited from a residential crisis shelter. The relationships between parents’ annual income, education level and adolescent’s gender to the adolescent’s gpa and school problems were also explored. Findings indicated that higher levels of perceived family cohesion and achievement orientation predicted fewer school problems, but not gpa. Parents’ income and education levels were not significant predictors of gpa or school problems. However, gender predicted school problems. Specifically, higher family cohesion was associated with fewer school problems among females and higher achievement orientation predicted fewer school problems among males. These findings suggest that family characteristics are important factors to consider when understanding school problems among substance abusing runaway youth.



family cohesion, achievement orientation, runaway adolescents, school performance