An outcome study of a character education program (CEP) was conducted in a high school setting, in order to illustrate efficacy of high school character development initiatives. This study measured character education performance outcomes by comparing the survey results and record reviews of high school students before and after the implementation of a CEP. Over 300 students in grades 9-12 completed the presurvey, and over 300 participants completed the follow-up character education profile. Follow-up participants have taken part in a CEP for two years, prior to completion of the School as a Caring Community Profile. Performance outcomes were measured based on three factors. These three factors included teachers show respect to parents and students (factor 1), students helping students (factor 2), and students respecting students (factor 3).
No mean differences in school climate factors from 2002 to 2004 were noted; however, a slight change in anticipated mean direction for students helping students (factor 2) was indicated. A correlation analysis between character education factors and school performance resulted in significantly positive results correlating the CEP to increases in all measured academic areas. In addition, factor 1 - "Teachers showing respect to parents and students" was negatively correlated with school absenteeism. A multiple regression analysis of three predictor variables serving as predictors accounted for 13% of the total variance. These factors were discipline, factor 1 - "Teachers show respect to parents and students", and absences. Further research limitations and indications are also discussed.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Moral education; Education, Secondary
School Psychology (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
Department of Psychology (CLA)
Scott P. Merydith
Nowatzki, Susanne M., "Character Education: Efficacy of Character Development Initiatives in High School Settings" (2006). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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