Graduation Year


Document Type

Ed. Specalist



Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Shannon Suldo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth Shaunessy-Dedrick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Dedrick, Ph.D.


Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Psychopathology, Subjective Well-Being


Youth in accelerated curricula programs are an understudied population in relation to groups who struggle academically. To date, few studies have been conducted examining relationships between psychopathology symptomology, life satisfaction, academic achievement, and perceived stress. To address this, the current study completed a secondary analysis of an archival dataset in order to expand upon previous research into the predictive relationships between mental health (psychopathology and life satisfaction; beginning of year) and students’ subsequent academic achievement and perceived stress (assessed mid-year). Furthermore, the current study investigated the predictive effects of mid-year academic achievement (course grades) and perceived stress on students’ subsequent psychopathology and life satisfaction (re-assessed end-of year, approximately 4 months after the mid-year point). The sample included 331 high school freshmen enrolled in accelerated curricula, specifically the International Baccalaureate (IB) program or an Advanced Placement (AP) class. Results from this study indicated that (1) students’ initial mental health (internalizing problems, externalizing problems, and life satisfaction) were significant predictors of students’ mid-year perceived stress levels; (2) students’ initial mental health was not significantly predictive of students’ mid-year academic achievement; (3) students’ mid-year perceived stress levels were significant predictors of students’ end-of-year mental health; and (4) students’ mid-year academic achievement was not a significant predictor of students’ end-of-year mental health. In sum, this study supported bidirectional relationships between mental health and stress, but no significant associations during the year between achievement and mental health.