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17-11-2020 | Empirical Research Open Access

Putting the Goal Back into Grit: Academic Goal Commitment, Grit, and Academic Achievement

Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Xin Tang, Ming-Te Wang, Filomena Parada, Katariina Salmela-Aro
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Supplementary information

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10964-020-01348-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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Grit has recently been challenged for its weak predictive power and the incompleteness of its measurement. This study addressed these issues by taking a developmental, person-oriented approach to study academic-related goal commitment and grit and their effects on academic achievement. Using longitudinal data among Finnish eighth and ninth graders (n = 549, 59.4% female, age = 14–16), the longitudinal changes in grit and academic goal commitment profiles were investigated through latent profile and latent transition analyses. Four profiles were identified across two grades: High committed-persistent and moderate consistency (~17%), Moderate (~60%), Low committed-persistent and moderate-low consistency (~8%) and Extremely low committed-persistent and moderate-low consistency (~12%). The students in the High committed-persistent and moderate consistency profile had the highest academic achievement of all the profiles when controlled for gender, socioeconomic status, conscientiousness, and academic persistence. The results revealed that students’ profiles changed between the eighth and ninth grades, with more than one-third of the High committed-persistent and moderate consistency adolescents dropping from this group. Further analysis showed that the profiles varied by educational aspiration, gender, and socioeconomic status. These findings imply that the combination of grit and academic goal commitment influences academic achievement; however, this combination is less common, unstable, and affected by internal and external factors. The study provided important implications on the weak grit effect and the ways to improve it.

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