Early Adolescents’ Enjoyment Experienced in Learning Situations at School and Its Relation to Student Achievement

Gerda Hagenauer, Tina Hascher


While many studies confirm that positive emotions, including enjoyment, lead to better student achievement, less empirical evidence exists about possible mediator variables that link achievement to enjoyment. It is proposed that achievement and enjoyment form a circular dependency; enjoyment in learning leads to higher achievement but a degree of achievement is required to enjoy learning. This study provides insight into the reverse of the much studied enjoyment to achievement link and provides practical recommendations on how to use these findings. Founded in Control-value theory, which suggests that control and value cognitions are important variables that mediate the connection between enjoyment and achievement, this study explores the reciprocal achievement-cognition-enjoyment link. The reciprocal link was investigated by applying a one year longitudinal design to students of grade 6 and 7 (N = 356). This age group was chosen because early adolescence represents a critical period during which a strong decrease in positive learning emotions is observed. Part of the work involved identifying factors that might be responsible for this negative development. Results of cross-lagged path analysis identified reciprocal effects between student achievement and enjoyment with control and value cognitions functioning as partial mediators. High achievement goes with high control and value cognitions, which in turn positively affect enjoyment. However, cross-lagged correlations could only be partly confirmed. The results are discussed in terms of theoretical and practical implications

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v2i2.254


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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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