Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Autonomy, Belongingness, and Engagement in School as Contributors to Adolescent Psychological Well-Being

  • Mark J. Van Ryzin
  • Amy A. Gravely
  • Cary J. Roseth
Empirical Research

Abstract

Self-determination theory emphasizes the importance of school-based autonomy and belongingness to academic achievement and psychological adjustment, and the theory posits a model in which engagement in school mediates the influence of autonomy and belongingness on these outcomes. To date, this model has only been evaluated on academic outcomes. Utilizing short-term longitudinal data (5-month timeframe) from a set of secondary schools in the rural Midwest (N = 283, M age = 15.3, 51.9% male, 86.2% White), we extend the model to include a measure of positive adjustment (i.e., hope). We also find a direct link between peer-related belongingness (i.e., peer support) and positive adjustment that is not mediated by engagement in school. A reciprocal relationship between academic autonomy, teacher-related belongingness (i.e., teacher support) and engagement in learning is supported, but this reciprocal relationship does not extend to peer-related belongingness. The implications of these findings for secondary schools are discussed.

Keywords

Self-determination theory Autonomy Belongingness Positive psychology Hope 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark J. Van Ryzin
    • 1
  • Amy A. Gravely
    • 2
  • Cary J. Roseth
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes ResearchMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special EducationMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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