An Assessment of the Relation of Climate to Adolescent Academic Motivation

Melvina T. Sumter, Old Dominion University

ABSTRACT
Recent research indicates that social support positively affects the social adjustment of adolescents. However, this support is often not present in the lives of adolescents who are not academically motivated, at risk of school failure, and/or more likely to engage in problematic behavior in the school setting. During this presentation, the results will be discussed from a study designed to examine the role of climate in the etiology of academic motivation, which is an early indicator of poor school performance, school suspension, school dropout, problematic behavior, as well as juvenile delinquency. Using a large and diverse sample of Philadelphia Public System Middle School Students (N=7547) this research focused on whether students who perceive their school as a community are more academically motivated than students who did not. The results are then discussed in relation to the development of intervention strategies to enhance academic motivation.

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Updated 05/20/2006