This study examined relations between students' psychological engagement and academic achievement, as well as between students' psychological engagement and growth in academic achievement. The study also examined if relations between students' psychological engagement and academic growth varied by grade level (elementary school compared to middle school). In addition, the study examined whether or not engagement was a predictor of later achievement or growth in achievement.
This study was conducted in a school district located in a first-ring suburb of Minneapolis. Data regarding students' psychological engagement were gathered through a district-wide student survey on two separate occasions and were linked to achievement data. The current study examined data from three groups of students. Primary interest was in a cohort of students tracked from fourth grade to seventh grade. In addition, the study compared the cohort to other groups of similarly aged students who completed the psychological engagement survey at a different point in time.
Results indicated a weak relationship between psychological engagement and achievement and essentially no relationship between psychological engagement and growth in reading achievement. In addition, psychological engagement did not add to the prediction of achievement after accounting for prior achievement. However, the results indicated that, for middle school students, the addition of a Teacher-Student Relationship factor did add to the prediction of growth in reading. Finally, the relationship between psychological engagement and achievement, as well as psychological engagement and growth in achievement, did not vary by grade level (elementary compared to middle school). Implications for practice and future research are discussed.