Articles & Special Issues Race, Inequality & Social Mobility

Impact of the Academic-Social Context on American Indian/Alaska Native Student’s Academic Performance

American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) students have the highest dropout rates of any racial-ethnic group. This study posits that a poor Academic-Social Context contributes to low grade point average (GPA), which in turn negatively affects AI/AN students’ persistence to graduation. The present study compares the self-reported academic performance of AI/AN undergraduate students with that of students from other ethnic backgrounds, in order to evaluate whether variation in students’ ASC and any identified medical conditions differentially affected AI/AN students. Findings suggest that AI/AN students enter college with poorer ASC and have lower GPA scores. This study points to further investigations into the effects of social contexts on AI/AN students’ academic achievement and retention in college, especially social belongingness.

Project: Costs of Upward Social Mobility


Patterson, D. A., & Butler-Barnes, S. T. (2015). Impact of the academic-social context on American Indian/Alaska Native Student’s academic performance. Washington University Journal of American Indian & Alaskan Native Health, 1(1), article 3.