Interpersonal relationships and academic achievement – (how) are they interrelated in different periods of schooling?  [presentation, ppt, 2039 kB]

Košir K., Pečjak S.
First author's affiliation: Visoka poslovna šola Doba Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia

In the past, academic and social variables were considered as two completely separated aspects of motivation. Recently, these beliefs have been changing radically; namely, academic and social variables can be intertwined in a number of ways. Two most frequent and important forms of social relations that students form and maintain in school are relations to teachers and to peers. The main purpose of the study was to examine the relation between both kinds of social relations and academic variables in different school periods. 1159 students from three different periods of schooling covering the age range from late childhood through early to middle adolescence participated in the study. Different models of relations between social and academic variables were tested using structural equation modeling. The results show that the mediating variables included (well-being in school and academic engagement) do not explain the relation between social relations and academic achievement. In younger students, peer relations are related to students’ academic achievement, which does not hold true for both older age groups. Relations to teachers are related to students’ academic outcomes in all periods of schooling. The results also suggest that the method of data assessment is a very important factor of establishing the relations between variables. Self-report as a source used in a lot of educational research seems to be quite unreliable measure of students’ social and academic characteristics. Therefore, multiple sources should be used for the assessment of students’ characteristics.