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School alienation and its association with student learning and social behavior in challenging times

Motivation in Education at a Time of Global Change

ISBN: 978-1-78754-614-1, eISBN: 978-1-78754-613-4

ISSN: 0749-7423

Publication date: 25 March 2019

Abstract

Current challenges in the educational sector along with age-related changes during early adolescence contribute to an increased sense of school alienation (SAL) among students. Some of the central concerns of SAL are failure to participate in classroom and socially deviant behaviors. This study examined the change in and cross-lagged relationships among alienation from learning, teachers, and classmates, and different self-reported learning and social behaviors across 508 secondary school students spanning a one-year interval from Grade 7 to Grade 8. The results revealed a slight increase in SAL and a decline in classroom participation. Earlier SAL predicted students’ later in-class participation and delinquent behavior, but not vice versa. The three alienation domains were shown to have different relationships with targeted learning and social behaviors: Alienation from learning and from teachers negatively predicted student classroom participation. Alienation from teachers and from classmates contributed to subsequent delinquent behavior. The study results emphasized the importance of SAL for students’ participation in classroom activities as well as in disruptive behaviors. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings for educational research and practice are discussed.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments

This study has been carried out in Switzerland with a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (No. 100019L_159979 for 2015–2018) and in Luxembourg with a grant from the Luxembourg National Research Fund (INTER/SNF/14/9857103).

Citation

Morinaj, J., Marcin, K. and Hascher, T. (2019), "School alienation and its association with student learning and social behavior in challenging times", Motivation in Education at a Time of Global Change (Advances in Motivation and Achievement, Vol. 20), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 205-224. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0749-742320190000020010

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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