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01-03-2012 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 3/2012

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 3/2012

What Makes Students Engaged in Learning? A Time-Use Study of Within- and Between-Individual Predictors of Emotional Engagement in Low-Performing High Schools

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 3/2012
Auteurs:
Sira Park, Susan D. Holloway, Amanda Arendtsz, Janine Bempechat, Jin Li

Abstract

Adolescents’ emotional engagement plays a critical role in promoting their academic performance as well as overall psychological wellbeing. As a part of a 3-year longitudinal study, this study drew upon self-determination theory to examine three psychological predictors of emotional engagement within specific learning contexts. Ninety-four, low socioeconomic status (SES), ninth grade students (49% male; 32 Blacks, 30 Whites, and 32 Latinos) rated the perceived fulfillment of their autonomy, competence, and relatedness needs and their emotional engagement in learning settings at multiple time points over a 1-week period. Hierarchical linear modeling showed that the students’ ratings of their psychological-need fulfillment and of their emotional engagement fluctuated over time and across contexts. After accounting for student gender, race/ethnicity, and prior achievement, we found that the fulfillment of each type of psychological need in a particular learning context was related to emotional engagement in that context (i.e., within-student level). The fulfillment of students’ need for autonomy also was related to their emotional engagement at the aggregated level (i.e., between-student level). These findings illustrate how the psychological affordances of particular learning settings are associated with emotional engagement within and between students from low SES backgrounds.

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