Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School

Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

James Berry, Ed.D.

Committee Member

David Anderson Ed.D.

Committee Member

Brigid Beaubien Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Price Ed.D.


The single most common predictor of success may be how hard students work. Students who persevere when faced with challenges and adversity have grit. This quantitative study explored the relationship of grit and student achievement in students in early elementary school. The subjects of the study were second grade students enrolled in the Sault Ste. Marie Area Public School District. The cognitive measures for this study were the subjects’ scores from the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measures of Academic Progress in the areas of mathematics and reading. The non-cognitive measure for this research was the Grit-S Scale, which provided a grit score for each of the subjects. The results of the study established a highly significant moderate to strong relationship between grit and student achievement in both mathematics and reading as students exited second grade. A significant strong relationship was established between students’ mathematics and reading scores at the end of second grade. The results also demonstrated a moderate to strong relationship between a student’s grit and socioeconomic status and school attendance. The study’s results have the potential to provide evidence as to the importance of non-cognitive skills in relation to academic success of students. The results lend knowledge to the field of education about the importance and value of explicitly teaching and supporting non-cognitive skills such as resilience, conscientiousness, optimism, self-control, goal commitment, perseverance, and grit within the classroom. The results of this study showed support for the link between grit and student achievement in students who are just embarking on their educational journey.