Study on reciprocal relations among academic emotions, situational interest, and learning engagement

Yun Ting Huang, Biing Lin Cherng

研究成果: Article同行評審

摘要

In educational psychology research, researchers have highlighted problems in students’ learning. In fact, many researchers have suggested that students’ learning processes are more crucial than their learning outcomes are (Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2003; Schraw et al., 2001). However, little attention has been paid to students’ learning activities and processes; therefore, they formed the focus of the present study. Educational psychology researchers have used learning engagement to describe behaviors in students’ learning processes (Putwain et al., 2019). Learning engagement has been defined as the degree to which students participate and engage in learning activities, and it is a critical behavior in active learning. Several studies have demonstrated that learning engagement is closely related to learning motivation, situational interest, and academic emotions (Ainley & Ainley, 2011; Pekrun & Linnenbrink-Garcia, 2012). To investigate academic emotions, researchers in educational psychology have mostly used academic emotion theory (Pekrun, 2006). On the basis of the influence of academic emotion processes, Pekrun (2006) proposed the cognitive-motivational model, which posits that academic emotions influence learners’ cognition, motivation, and engagement, thereby influencing their learning achievement. Moreover, in return, learners’ learning achievement subsequently influenced their motivation, engagement, and academic emotions, and their motivation and engagement influenced their academic emotions. Therefore, reciprocal relations exist between academic emotions and learning engagement, yet few studies have examined them. Furthermore, a close relationship exists between situational interest and students’ learning engagement (Reschly et al., 2008). Situational interest is defined as temporary interest that arises spontaneously due to environmental factors (Hidi & Harackiewicz, 2000; Renninger & Hidi, 2002). Reeve and Tseng (2011) defined student engagement as a four-dimensional concept consisting of behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and agentic aspects. Much research has found that situational interest influences students’ learning engagement (Lipstein & Renninger, 2006; Renninger & Shumer, 2002; Silvia, 2006). Some researchers found that situational interest enhanced students’ learning engagement, which in turn influenced their situational interest (Ainley & Ainley, 2011). However, relevant studies have only used cross-sectional analyses; limited studies have examined these reciprocal relations. Therefore, the present study proposed a reciprocal relationship between situational interest and learning engagement. According to theoretical and empirical research, the present study constructed an academic emotion, situational interest, and learning engagement reciprocal effect model, which focused on the reciprocal relations between academic emotions (enjoyment and boredom) and learning engagement, situational interest, and learning engagement. The present study employed a longitudinal design to examine the reciprocal relations between these variables. Data collected from a longitudinal study with seventh-and eighth-grade junior high school students (N = 643; 302 boys) from 6 schools (25 classes) in Tainan City, Taiwan, were examined. Data collection was conducted in four waves. Participants were asked to complete the academic emotions scale (enjoyment and boredom), situational interest scale, and learning engagement scale. All scales referred to the students’ Chinese classes. Attrition analyses revealed no significant differences in T1 enjoyment and boredom between partially missing (N = 43) and complete samples; a significant difference existed in T1 situational interest between partially missing and complete samples, but the effect size was small (η2 = .01). Therefore, we used 600 complete samples in the subsequent analysis. Moreover, we analyzed the sex and grade-level differences of partially missing samples. The results indicated no significant differences between boys and girls in seventh and eighth grade among the partially missing samples. Finally, the present study used a class unit for sampling (nested data), which may have entailed clustering effects. According to Meuleman and Billie (2009), a group sample size of 40 in the between-level factor structure is sufficient. Only 25 classes were involved the present study; therefore, we standardized all variables by using a class as a unit to prevent class clustering effects (Dowding & Haufe, 2018). The present study applied structural equation modeling to analyze the data by using LISREL 8.80 and SPSS for Windows 23.0. To assess the model fit, we used well-established indices such as root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) < .10, standardized root mean residual (SRMR) < .05, Tucker–Lewis index (TLI), and comparative fit index (CFI) > .95 in addition to chi-square test statistics. Data were analyzed in two steps. After a preliminary statistical analysis, we first examined descriptive statistics, sex and grade differences, and measurement invariance. Second, we examined the model fit by using two strategies: First, the reciprocal relations models were tested competitively against two unidirectional models. If the reciprocal model exhibited a better fit with the data, then the model of the present study was supported. Second, we examined the model fit and effects of all variables. Before analyzing the model, we first analyzed sex and grade differences. No significant differences existed between boys and girls in T2 learning engagement, T3 enjoyment, or T4 learning engagement. However, significant differences existed between boys and girls in T1 enjoyment, boredom, and situational interest and in T3 boredom and situational interest, but the effect size was small (η2 = .01 – .02). Moreover, no significant differences existed between the seventh and eighth grades for all variables. Hence, we did not use sex as a control variable. Second, we tested measurement invariance, which included configural, metric (weak factorial), scalar (strong factorial), and covariance. The results indicated that the boredom scale had strong measurement invariance, Δχ2 (dfs= 1–5, N = 600) = 0.40–5.30, p >.05, and the enjoyment, situational interest, and learning engagement scales had weak measurement invariance, Δχ2 (dfs = 4–20, N = 600) = 2.21–23.62, p > .05. According to Putnick and Bornstein (2016), if measurement scales indicate invariance for all variables over time, then they are suitable for longitudinal studies. First, the results of the present study indicated that the academic emotions, situational interest, and learning engagement reciprocal effect model had an excellent fit with the dataχ s2 (242, N = 600) = 1401.06, 1196.29, p < .05; RMSEAs = .093, .083; SRMRs = .047, .041; TLIs = .93, .97; CFIs = .98, .97. Second, the data analyses revealed reciprocal relations between enjoyment and learning engagement. Students’ T1 enjoyment enhanced their T2 learning engagement. In turn, students’ T2 learning engagement positively predicted their T3 enjoyment, and students’ T3 enjoyment enhanced their T4 learning engagement. Third, reciprocal relations existed between boredom and learning engagement. Students’ T1 boredom reduced their T2 learning engagement; in turn, students’ T2 learning engagement negatively predicted their T3 boredom, and students’ T3 boredom reduced their T4 learning engagement. Fourth, the data analyses revealed reciprocal relations between situational interest and learning engagement. Students’ T1 situational interest enhanced their T2 learning engagement; in turn, students’ T2 learning engagement positively predicted their T3 situational interest, and students’ T3 situational interest enhanced their T4 learning engagement. To conclude, the present study demonstrated reciprocal relations between enjoyment/boredom and learning engagement as well as between situational interest and learning engagement. These findings expand the evidence base for the cognitive-motivational model and further understanding of the relationships among academic emotions, situational interest, and learning engagement.

原文English
頁(從 - 到)571-594
頁數24
期刊Bulletin of Educational Psychology
52
發行號3
DOIs
出版狀態Published - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • 教育
  • 發展與教育心理學

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