A Q factor analysis of college undergraduate students' study behaviors

Yang Yang, Florida International University


The purpose of this study was to better understand the study behaviors and habits of university undergraduate students. It was designed to determine whether undergraduate students could be grouped based on their self-reported study behaviors and if any grouping system could be determined, whether group membership was related to students’ academic achievement. A total of 152 undergraduate students voluntarily participated in the current study by completing the Study Behavior Inventory instrument. All participants were enrolled in fall semester of 2010 at Florida International University. The Q factor analysis technique using principal components extraction and a varimax rotation was used in order to examine the participants in relation to each other and to detect a pattern of intercorrelations among participants based on their self-reported study behaviors. The Q factor analysis yielded a two factor structure representing two distinct student types among participants regarding their study behaviors. The first student type (i.e., Factor 1) describes proactive learners who organize both their study materials and study time well. Type 1 students are labeled “Proactive Learners with Well-Organized Study Behaviors”. The second type (i.e., Factor 2) represents students who are poorly organized as well as being very likely to procrastinate. Type 2 students are labeled Disorganized Procrastinators. Hierarchical linear regression was employed to examine the relationship between student type and academic achievement as measured by current grade point averages (GPAs). The results showed significant differences in GPAs between Type 1 and Type 2 students at the .05 significance level. Furthermore, student type was found to be a significant predictor of academic achievement beyond and above students’ attribute variables including sex, age, major, and enrollment status. The study has several implications for educational researchers, practitioners, and policy makers in terms of improving college students' learning behaviors and outcomes.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Quantitative psychology|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Yang, Yang, "A Q factor analysis of college undergraduate students' study behaviors" (2011). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3484199.