Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Cindy Flom-Meland


Academic Success; Mental Health; Physical Therapists -- education; Students, Health Occupations; Surveys and Questionnaires


Background and Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to compare year-one and yeartwo student physical therapists grit scores using Angela Duckworth's 12 question Grit survey to investigate if there were correlations between the Grit score, GPA, age, or gender. The results of this pilot study will help shape further research on using Grit score as an indicator for academic success and hardship for students in strenuous programs.

Methods: The Grit-0 scale was distributed to both second and first year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students at the University of North Dakota by the primary investigator. There were 105 student participants total, 53 first-years and 52 second-years, who consented to the study and having demographic info pulled. The demographic data was pulled and coded by a non-blinded faculty member, and this data along with the coded Grit-0 scores for each of the participants was put into a spreadsheet by student researchers for comparison.

Results: Following SPSS data analysis with both parametric and non-parametric measures, there were no significant findings when comparing overall grit score, age, and various GP A scores of year-one and year-two physical therapy students. Seventy- five percent of students (year 1 and 2) grit scores were at or above 3.63, with the mean M=3.85 and median score being 3.92. There were two grit scores that were significantly lower than the rest of the participants, which may have influenced the results.

Discussion: Mental health is a topic that is being discussed and looked into with increasing frequency throughout campuses. Being able to use the Grit score may help identify, or provide universities with a baseline tool, to help recognize and measure at risk students objectively. There are limitations with using the grit score to predict academic success, and there is need for further research on the topic.