Navigating the school transition: Within- and between-person associations between adolescents' academic self-efficacy, school relatedness, and intrinsic academic motivation

Jingyun Wang*, Tessa Kaufman, Stefanos Mastrotheodoros, Susan Branje

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Adolescents with higher levels of the basic psychological needs of competence, autonomy, and relatedness report better school functioning compared to their peers with lower levels of these needs. This study extended previous work by examining associations in within-person changes of these psychological needs in the school context, with a special focus on the secondary school transition period. We examined within-person relations between academic self-efficacy, intrinsic academic motivation, and school relatedness. Dutch adolescents (N = 290; Mage = 11.58 years, SD = 0.44 at T1) who were in their last year of primary school were followed for four waves across 2 years. Results from random-intercept cross-lagged panel models (RI-CLPMs) showed moderate to strong positive concurrent associations between academic self-efficacy, intrinsic academic motivation, and school relatedness at both the within- and between-person levels. Moreover, within-person increases in school relatedness predicted increases in intrinsic academic motivation 6 months later. Thus, it is vital that researchers, teachers, and educators are aware that social connections and belongingness are important after the school transition for increasing intrinsic academic motivation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101326
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Volume106
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2024

Keywords

  • Academic self-efficacy
  • Intrinsic academic motivation
  • Longitudinal study
  • School relatedness
  • School transition

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