Examining the Academic and Social Goals of Adolescents Who Excel Academically, Socially, in Both Areas, and in Neither

Makara Fuller, K. (2016) Examining the Academic and Social Goals of Adolescents Who Excel Academically, Socially, in Both Areas, and in Neither. International Conference on Motivation, Thessaloniki, Greece, 24-27 Aug 2016. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Students who have positive peer relations also tend to do better academically, and extensive research finds positive associations between students’ peer relations, motivation, and academic achievement. However, some adolescents may only be successful academically, or only socially, when at school. The current study expands upon previous research by examining the academic and social achievement goals of four groups of adolescent students: academic-social (high GPA and high number of peer nominations), academic-only (high GPA, low peer nominations), social-only (low GPA, high peer nominations), and neither (low on both). This study draws on Achievement Goal Theory to conceptualize students’ motivation. 759 students in grades 9-11 from a U.S. public high school completed surveys to assess their academic goals, social goals, and peer nominations at the beginning and end of the year. The four groups differed in meaningful ways in their levels of mastery, performance-approach, social development, social demonstration-approach, and social demonstration avoidance goals. For example, the academic-social group reported higher social development goals than students in either the social-only or academic-only groups, while the academic-only group reported significantly higher social demonstration-avoidance goals than all other groups. While the levels of academic and social goals differed in meaningful ways across the groups, the trajectories of change across the school year were similar across groups with the exception of academic performance-avoidance goals, which decreased more for the academic-social group. The findings have implications for how schools can better promote students’ academic and social development.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Status:Unpublished
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Makara Fuller, Dr Kara
Authors: Makara Fuller, K.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Pedagogy Policy and Practice

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