The role of belongingness in middle school students' motivational adaptation to a new school setting: Do fresh starts make a difference
AdvisorGood, Thomas L.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis was a study of 45 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students who attended a newly formed charter school in a large metropolitan city in the Southwest. The purpose was to explore students' conceptions of belongingness in two school contexts and to analyze how conceptions may (or may not) have changed over time and from one school context to another. Interview methods were employed to obtain both closed- and open-ended student responses. Results suggested that the role of student choice in changing schools is significantly related to whether students felt they belong. Further, students varied in their belongingness conceptions with some students emphasizing the importance of interpersonal relationships and others emphasizing academic achievement or opportunity. Results were used to generate a preliminary model of Fresh Starts Motivation (FSM) that describes the role of students' conceptions of belongingness as it exists and evolves through a major transition. Implications for future research on student belongingness are described.
Degree ProgramGraduate College