Marital status and gender as predictors of undergraduate academic performance: a United Arab Emirates context

Justin Thomas, Monique Raynor, Amal Al-Marzooqi

Abstract


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is attempting to move towards a knowledge-based economy. A greater understanding of the determinants, predictors and barriers to academic success are vital to this goal. Previous research within the region has found female gender, and being married to be positive predictors of academic performance. This study explores the influence of gender and marital status on cumulative grade point averages (CGPA) across all undergraduate students presently attending a multi campus federal university within the UAE. Anonymous data were extracted from the institution’s information management systems. The data extract included all current students (N =3676), their gender, CGPA, age and marital status. Age was positively correlated with CGPA. Females had significantly higher cumulative CGPAs than males, even after controlling for age. This was true for all majors with the exception of Information Technology, where no significant difference was observed. Married students (males and females) had higher CGPAs than their unmarried counter-parts, however this difference was not statistically significant after controlling for age. Being married appears not to have any obvious detrimental effect on academic performance as indexed by CGPA. Mature students tend to perform slightly better, and females significantly outperform males.

Keywords


Gender; Marital Status; GPA

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18538/lthe.v9.n2.80