Can Student Engagement Serve as a Motivational Resource for Academic Coping, Persistence, and Learning During Late Elementary and Early Middle School?
How children and youth deal with academic challenges and setbacks can make a material difference to their learning and school success. Hence, it is important to investigate the factors that allow students to cope constructively. A process model focused on students’ motivational resources was used to frame a study examining whether engagement in the classroom shapes students’ academic coping, and whether coping in turn contributes to subsequent persistence on challenging tasks and learning, which then feed back into ongoing engagement. In fall and spring of the same school year, 880 children in 4th through 6th grades and their teachers completed measures of students’ engagement and disaffection in the classroom, and of their re-engagement in the face of obstacles and difficulties; students also reported on 5 adaptive and 6 maladaptive ways of academic coping; and information on a subset of students’ classroom grades was collected. Structural analyses, incorporating student-reports, teacher-reports, and their combination, indicated that the model of motivational processes was a good fit for time-ordered data from fall to spring. Multiple regressions examining each step in the process model also indicated that it was the profile of coping responses, rather than any specific individual way of coping, that was most centrally connected to changes in engagement and persistence. Taken together, findings suggest that these internal dynamics may form self-perpetuating cycles that could cement or augment the development of children’s motivational resilience and vulnerability across time.
Locate the Document
Skinner, E. A., Pitzer, J. R., & Steele, J. S. (2016). Can student engagement serve as a motivational resource for academic coping, persistence, and learning during late elementary and early middle school?. Developmental Psychology, 52(12), 2099.