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Running head: AGE AND STUDY HABITS

Age and Study Habits


Samantha Burneo, Edith Feld, Sara Silverberg and Michelle Versten
Touro University Nevada

AGE AND STUDY HABITS

Methods
Participants and Procedure
The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Cook Counseling Center Study
Skills Checklist survey (see Appendix) was administered and collected on September 15, 2014.
The sample size of participants for this study consisted of n = 32 graduate students from the
Occupational Therapy Class of 2016 at Touro University Nevada. Of these participants, six
were male, 26 were female, and all were between the ages of 21 and 47 years. Thirty-two
students were recruited to participate in and complete the study. There was no attrition rate. A
correlational study was conducted, therefore no control or treatment group was necessary.
Because this was a correlational study, the division of participants into control and
treatment groups was neither necessary nor appropriate. Rather, all 32 participants
completed the same survey under the same physical and temporal conditions. Our sample
consisted of six males and 26 females between the ages of 21 and 47 years. The Virginia
Polytechnic Institute and State University Cook Counseling Center Study Skills Checklist
survey (see Appendix) was administered and collected on September 15, 2014. The Study
Skills Checklist survey was administered to participants before the beginning of class on
September 15, 2014 to ensure all participants received the survey at the same time on the same
day. Participants also indicated their age at the top of the survey.
Measures and Results
The Study Skills Checklist is a self-report survey used to evaluate ones study habits.
The survey consisted It consists of 21 questions addressing seven areas of study skills including

AGE AND STUDY HABITS

time scheduling, concentration, listening and note taking, reading comprehension, reading speed,
testing and exams, and writing skills. To interpret the survey responses, each Yes response
received a numerical score of one, and each No response received a numerical score of
two. Due to the wording of the survey questions, a higher numerical score suggested
greater proficiency in a specified study skill. The numerical scores for the three questions
that corresponded to each subset were summed for each participant. It should be noted
that the data for participants aged 2226 years was aggregated and averaged for each age due to
multiple participants within each age. However, the data for those aged 21, 32, 35, 39, 42 and 47
years were was not aggregated nor averaged because each age was only represented by a single
participant. We used the A one-tailed t-test was used to determine the statistical significance of
the results for each subset. The data for participants aged 2226 years was aggregated and
averaged for each age due to multiple participants within each age. However, the data for those
aged 21, 32, 35, 39, 42 and 47 years were not aggregated nor averaged because each age was
only represented by a single participant. P-values were computed for each of the seven subscales
and ranged from p = 9.96x10-7 to p = 1.97x10-6. A negative correlation was shown for time
scheduling, and a positive correlation was shown for concentration. However, after compiling
and evaluating the data, we determined the t-tests indicated that there was no statistical
significance among the data collected across all seven scales. Therefore, it cannot be said that a
correlation exists between age and study habits (see Figures 1 7).
Discussion
Due to the increasing number of older, nontraditional students returning to higher
education, we sought to determine if there was a difference between younger and older students
and their study habits. We predicted that nontraditional students would exhibit more effective

AGE AND STUDY HABITS

study habits than traditional students. However, our hypothesis was not supported by our
research. Our research was not statistically significant and subsequently inconclusive. Our
literature review demonstrated mixed results. Two of the studies revealed a positive correlation
between age and study habits. Wickramasinghe and Samaresekera (2011) found a positive
correlation between age and strategic approach. Powell (2011) found that older students utilized
a deeper approach to studying, which led to a positive correlation with academic success. Hoyt,
Howell, Touchet, Young and Wygant (2010), however, found no correlational relationship
between students and perception of learning. The inconclusiveness of our research results in
conjunction with the limited research available in this area indicates that more research needs to
be conducted.
Limitations
Our study was limited by its small sample size and uneven distribution of participants.
Our sample was heavily populated by a younger demographic and did not provide an even
distribution of ages or gender. Another limitation of the study was that the survey was
administered while participants were taking multiple other surveys, which could have caused
participants to rush through the survey questions. Additionally, our study did not consider other
factors that my may impact participants study habits (i.e. familial obligations, cultural
expectations). Consequently Due to these limitations, the research had limited generalizability.
Recommendations
More research needs to be conducted to determine whether or not a relationship exists
between age and study habits. Future research needs to include a sample with an even
distribution of the age and gender of participants. Additionally, researchers would benefit from
having a larger sample size to increase generalizability. And Lastly, administering the exam

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during a prescribed time in which only one survey is being conducted would allow the
participants would be able to thoroughly read the survey and would benefit the validity of the
survey results.

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6
Appendix

Table 1: Study Skills Checklist


Read each statement and consider how it applies to you. If it does apply to you, check Y. If it
does not apply to you, check N. The purpose of this inventory is to find out about your own
study habits and attitudes.
Please include your age: _______________ years.
Time Scheduling
1. Y ____ N____ I spend too much time studying for what I am learning
2. Y ____ N____ I usually spend hours cramming the night before an exam
3. Y ____ N____ If I spend as much time on my social activities as I want to, I dont have
enough time left to study, or when I study enough, I dont have time for a social life.
Concentration
4. Y ____ N____ I usually try to study with the radio and TV turned on.
5. Y ____ N____ I cant sit and study for long periods of time without becoming tired or
distracted.
6. Y ____ N____ I go to class, but I usually doodle, daydream, or fall asleep.
Listening and Note Taking
7. Y ____ N____ My class notes are sometimes difficult to understand later.
8. Y ____ N____ I usually seem to get the wrong material into my class notes.
9. Y ____ N____ I dont review my class notes periodically throughout the semester in
preparation for tests.
Reading
10. Y ____ N____ When I get to the end of a chapter, I cant remember what Ive just read.
11. Y ____ N____ I dont know how to pick out what is important in the text.
12. Y ____ N____ I cant keep up with my reading assignments, and then I have to cram the
night before a test.
Testing and Exams
13. Y ____ N____ I lost a lot of points on essay tests even when I know the material well.
14. Y ____ N____ I study enough for my test, but when I get there my mind goes blank.
15. Y ____ N____ I often study in a haphazard, disorganized way under the threat of the
next test.

AGE AND STUDY HABITS

Reading
16. Y ____ N____ I often find myself getting lost in the details of reading and have trouble
identifying the main ideas.
17. Y ____ N____ I rarely change my reading speed in response to the difficulty level of the
selection, or my familiarity with the content.
18. Y ____ N____ I often wish that I could read faster.
Writing Skills
19. Y ____ N____ When my teachers assign papers I feel so overwhelmed that I cant get
started.
20. Y ____ N____ I usually write my papers the night before they are due.
21. Y ____ N____ I cant seem to organize my thoughts into a paper that make sense.

AGE AND STUDY HABITS

Figures 1 7: Figures 1 7 illustrate the results of the correlational study conducted where in
which no statistical significance was demonstrated for the folloowing subscales: Time
Schedulesing, Concentration, Listening and note taking Notetaking, Reading Comprehension,
Testing and Exams, Reading Speed, and Writing Skills.

Figure 1: Time Scheduling

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Figure 2: Concentration

Figure 3: Listening and Note taking

Figure 4: Reading Comprehension

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Figure 5: Testing and Exams

Figure 6: Reading Speed

10

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Figure 7: Writing Skills

11

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References

Hoyt, J., Howell, S. L., Touchet, J., Young, S., & Wygant, S. (2010). Enhancing nontraditional
student learning outcomes in higher education. PAACE Journal of Lifelong Learning, 19,
23-37.
Nonis, S. A., & Hudson, G. I. (2010). Performance of college students: Impact of study time and
study habits. Journal of Education for Business, 85, 229-238.
doi:10.1080/08832320903449550
Powell, E. (2011). The relationship between age and deep level study habits in a vocational
nursing program. 1-39. Retrieved August 28, 2014, from
http://www.shsu.edu/~coegp/documents/Capstone_Project%201.pdf
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Cook Counseling Center (2014). Study skills
checklist. Retrieved September 2, 2014, from
http://www.ucc.vt.edu/academic_support_students/study_skills_information/study_skills
_checklist/index.html