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Social interaction and academic performance

Sheppard, Terence Alan

Description

In this thesis it was argued that, since almost all activities at school are carried on within a context of on-going social interaction, students' experience of social interaction with teachers and peers constitutes a major part of the high school experience and can be expected to be related to their academic performance and schoolrelated feelings. A review of literature revealed a paucity of information concerning firstly, the adolescent's perspective of within-school social interaction...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorSheppard, Terence Alan
dc.date.accessioned2017-10-26T03:11:18Z
dc.date.available2017-10-26T03:11:18Z
dc.date.copyright1978
dc.identifier.otherb1222171
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/132361
dc.description.abstractIn this thesis it was argued that, since almost all activities at school are carried on within a context of on-going social interaction, students' experience of social interaction with teachers and peers constitutes a major part of the high school experience and can be expected to be related to their academic performance and schoolrelated feelings. A review of literature revealed a paucity of information concerning firstly, the adolescent's perspective of within-school social interaction and secondly, the influence which adolescents' experience of such interaction exerts on their academic performance. Accordingly, this study was designed to address the question 'How is adolescents' experience of social interaction with teachers and peers related to their academic performance?' At a general level it was argued that human experience (and the behaviour based upon it) is an outcome of the interaction between personality (which reflects past experience) and current perceptions of the environment. In the light of this it was argued that adolescents' experience of within-school interaction can be conceptualized in terms of the degree of satisfaction they experience in association with needs aroused during interaction with peers and teachers. By their nature social needs are aroused by environmental cues present in interactive situations and are satisfied (or left unsatisfied) by the behavioural exchange which this interaction implies. This theoretical perspective meshed nicely with an available methodology [Stern's (1970) psychometric development of Murray's (1938) needs-press model] and four needs (affiliation, supplication, deference and dominance) were identified as characterizing adolescents' experience of within-school social interaction with peers and teachers. The degree of dissatisfaction which students experience during school interaction with teachers and peers was then inferred from the degree of dissonance they reported in association with these four needs. Two different theoretical perspectives concerning the relationship between need-press dissonance and academic performance were investigated. The first of these adopted a similar approach to earlier studies in this area and argued that need-press dissonance and academic performance would be inversely related. Specifically, it was suggested that perceptions of a high degree of dissonance would be accompanied by the arousal of debilitating state anxiety which would impair academic performance, while perceptions of a low degree of dissonance would not be accompanied by a similar arousal of anxiety and consequently performance would not be impaired. The second perspective attempted to place dissonance associated with social needs into the framework of the expectancy-value theory of achievement motivation and argued that the strength of students’ extrinsic tendency to engage in achievement activities could be inferred from the degree of dissonance they perceived. From this perspective dissonance was viewed as a positive tendency which encourages students to engage in achievement activities i.e. it was argued that dissonance and performance would be positively related. These hypotheses and others derived from them were tested using a variety of multivariate statistical techniques. The results of this data analysis provided limited support for the first of the two major hypotheses mentioned above and evidence was also found to support the prediction that perceptions of dissonance would be related to students’ school-related feelings. In the discussion of these findings it was concluded that the Stern need and press scales are better suited for research into between-school rather than within-school effects and alternative methods of assessing adolescents' experience of social interaction with peers and teachers were suggested.
dc.format.extent1v
dc.language.isoen
dc.subject.lcshTeacher-student relationships
dc.subject.lcshInteraction analysis in education
dc.subject.lcshAcademic achievement
dc.titleSocial interaction and academic performance
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorBeswick, D. G.
local.contributor.supervisorWilliams, T.
dcterms.valid1978
local.description.notesThesis (Ph.D.)--Australian National University, 1978. This thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1978
local.contributor.affiliationResearch School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d723e1d1d2b9
dc.date.updated2017-10-06T00:19:24Z
local.identifier.proquestYes
local.mintdoimint
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