Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Larry Ebbers


Recent research indicated that student involvement is related to cognitive outcomes, but more needs to be known. What kinds of involvement contribute to outcomes? Do different kinds of involvement lead to different outcomes for different students? This longitudinal study used standardized measures of involvement and cognitive outcomes to answer these questions;Eighty-eight students from three four-year campuses and one two-year campus in the Midwestern, Southern, and Eastern part of the United States took the Objective Test of the College Outcomes Measures Program (COMP) as entering students as a measure of cognitive outcomes. Two or four years later these same students took the COMP and the College Student Experiences questionnaire (CSE) which was used to measure involvement (quality of student effort) in five areas: cocurricular activities, student-faculty interaction, residence programs, peer interaction and athletics. Multiple regression was used to determine the ability of quality of effort and interaction of quality of effort and student background to increase prediction of cognitive outcomes after student background information was entered;Quality of effort in athletics resulted in relatively greater cognitive outcomes for lower SES than higher SES students; as quality of effort in cocurricular activities increased for lower SES students, cognitive outcomes decreased; and as quality of effort in athletics increased for women, cognitive outcomes decreased. SES, institution and amount of time studying were significant predictors of COMP. Apart from athletics, involvement variables were not significant predictors;Limitations of this research included a confounding of the variance associated with SES (parent education). Research with a larger sample, using standardized measures of variables, is needed to determine the contribution of quality of effort to cognitive outcomes. The interactions between parent education and kinds of involvement, especially athletics, also need further study.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Roger K. Hadley



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

205 pages