Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Kate Tresco, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Virginia Burks Salzer, PhD

Third Advisor

Timothy Lightman, EdD


Predicting academic success is an important aspect of education, but is of particular interest for educators and admissions officers at independent schools. This study, conducted using archival data at an independent school in the Philadelphia suburbs, used hierarchical regression analysis to determine whether cognitive measures could predict student GPA, whether measures of noncognitive traits (Grit, Conscientiousness, Openness, and Emotional Intelligence) could improve the prediction of GPA, and whether cognitive skills predict to any of the noncognitive traits. The most significant finding (p < .01, ϝ2= .52) is that scores on the Wechsler scales combined with scores on noncognitive measures are good predictors of GPA. The noncognitive traits of Conscientiousness and Emotional Intelligence (as measured by the Understanding and Managing scales of the MSCEIT-YV) are the most predictive of GPA. Also of interest to those in independent schools will be that the number of years that students attend the school is a positive predictor of GPA, as well of Grit and Conscientiousness. Also of note is the negative relationship between Wechsler scores and Grit, and between Wechsler scores and Conscientiousness.