First Advisor

Ellen Skinner

Term of Graduation


Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology






Education -- Sociological aspects, Academic achievement, Freedom of Teaching, Resilience (Personality trait) in children -- Case studies



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 134 pages)


Grounded in previous research on academic engagement and resilience, this study presents a clear conceptualization of re-engagement, defined as students' ability to bounce back from everyday academic challenges and setbacks, as a process of everyday resilience in school, and examines how teacher support can promote it. Data from 1018 third through sixth grade students and their 53 teachers were used to examine the extent to which teacher autonomy support and involvement (individually and in combination) predicted changes from fall to spring of the same school year in students' re-engagement (behavioral and emotional).

Overall, correlational results provided consistent support for study hypotheses. In terms of unique effects, teacher autonomy support (both student- and teacher-reported) was a unique predictor of both behavioral and emotional re-engagement, whereas involvement (both student- and teacher-reported) was a unique predictor for behavioral but not emotional re-engagement. In terms of predicting change over the school year, student perceptions of autonomy support predicted changes in both behavioral and emotional re-engagement, but teacher-reports predicted changes only in behavioral re-engagement; teacher-reported involvement showed the same pattern of effects. When both involvement and autonomy support (student-reported) were used as predictors of changes in re-engagement, both made unique contributions, although teacher-reports did not, due to multi-collinearity.

Students' perceptions of teacher support were more closely related to their re-engagement than was teacher-reported support, and those perceptions acted as mediators between the teacher-reported support and students' re-engagement, partially mediating the relationship between teacher-reported support and students' behavioral re-engagement, and fully mediating the relationship between teacher-reported autonomy support and emotional re-engagement. The relationships between teacher support and student re-engagement played out similarly for students at all grades and both genders, with the exception that student perceptions of teacher autonomy support were more important predictors of behavioral re-engagement for boys than for girls.

This study has implications for the conceptualization of re-engagement within a larger motivational model, for the importance of considering both teachers' and students' perspectives when studying teacher-student interactions, and for next steps in conceptualizing the construct of re-engagement as potentially encompassing separate behavioral and emotional components.


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