Peer orientation towards school, students' achievement goals, and adolescents' achievement -related behavior

Susan McCullough Tennant, Fordham University

Abstract

The direct influence of students' peer groups on adolescents' achievement-related behavior has been underexplored. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether positive and negative orientation of the peer group toward school contributed to the understanding of achievement-related behavior beyond the effects of goal orientation. Of particular interest were the differing effects that positively and negatively oriented peer groups had on the achievement-related behavior of students who held performance-approach versus performance-avoidance goals. ^ The participants completed 3 questionnaires to assess goal orientation, peer group orientation, and level of achievement-related behavior. Teachers also completed a measure assessing each participating student's level of achievement-related behavior. Findings revealed that orientation of the peer group toward school influenced students' achievement-related behavior, and that positively oriented peer groups were related to both performance-approach and performance-avoidance goal orientations. The interaction between performance-avoidance goals and positively and negatively oriented peer groups significantly impacted student ratings of achievement-related behavior. Results indicated that students who endorsed a performance-avoidance goal orientation and had positively oriented friends displayed fewer positive academic work and study skills than students who held a performance-avoidance goal orientation and associated with negatively oriented peers. ^ The results of the study are explained in relation to existing theory, and future areas of research are suggested. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Education, Educational Psychology

Recommended Citation

Tennant, Susan McCullough, "Peer orientation towards school, students' achievement goals, and adolescents' achievement -related behavior" (2005). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3166584.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3166584

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