Kelly Clark

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Malecki, Christine K.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology




After nearly a decade of research, the construct of grit has been linked to many positive outcomes for school-aged youth. However, evidence from a recent meta-analysis regarding the psychometric strength of commonly employed grit scales, in combination with discrepant findings in the extant literature, suggests that a reconceptualization of grit and its measurement may be vital to future empirical investigation. It is possible that the broad conceptualization of grit as an overarching personality characteristic, as opposed to a domain-specific skill, has contributed to differential findings in the literature base. Therefore, the current study sought to validate a novel measure of academic grit that is psychometrically sound and appropriate for use with adolescents. The primary purpose of the current study was to investigate the psychometric properties of a new measure of academic grit through examination of its factor structure, reliability, and validity for middle school students. The current study utilized extant data collected from a middle school sample (grades 6 to 8) employing self-report survey methods (N = 757). The results of this study provided evidence of a single-factor structure, strong reliability (Cronbach's Alpha = .918), and criterion-related and incremental validity of the newly developed Academic Grit Scale for assessing academic grit in adolescent populations. The Academic Grit Scale evidenced incremental validity, such that it accounted for variance in several pertinent outcome variables (i.e., academic achievement, life satisfaction, and school satisfaction) above and beyond that of general grit alone. Implications of these findings are discussed, including their potential to inform applied practices in schools and future empirical research.


Advisors: Christine K. Malecki.||Committee members: Michelle K. Demaray; Amanda M. Durik.||Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


vii, 163 pages




Northern Illinois University

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