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Predictors of academic achievement, motivation and student disengagement in university students


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Howlett, A 2015 , 'Predictors of academic achievement, motivation and student disengagement in university students', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The aim of this study was to expand the work on academic achievement and motivation by examining the relationships among success-orientation, fear-of-failure and academic disengagement in university students. Further, the cognitive-behavioural Quadripolar and Motivation and Engagement theories were included to determine whether the models independently contribute to the prediction of self-handicapping and defensive pessimism. Participants were 110 university students enrolled at the University of Tasmania who completed a standardised questionnaire assessing achievement orientation. The hypothesis that fear-of-failure would positively correlate with self-handicapping and defensive pessimism in university students was partially supported. A strong positive correlation was found between fear-of-failure and self-handicapping, however a non-significant correlation was found between fear-of-failure and defensive pessimism. Secondly, the hypothesis that success-orientation would be negatively associated with self-handicapping however positively associated with defensive pessimism was refuted as a non-significant correlation was found for both relationships. The hypothesis that there would be an interaction between success-orientation and fear-of-failure on self-handicapping was also refuted. Lastly, due to the substantially small sample it was not possible test the hypothesis that the dimensions of the Quadripolar Model of Need Achievement would be positively associated with theoretically similar dimensions of the Motivation and Engagement Wheel. Instead, the dimensions of each model were compared for predictive utility regarding self-handicapping and defensive pessimism. It was concluded that fear-of-failure in university students is a significant predictor of self-handicapping. However further research is required with a larger sample size to determine if the two theories are independent from each other.

Item Type: Thesis - Honours
Authors/Creators:Howlett, A
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