Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 179–206 | Cite as

Exploring the effects of a youth enrichment program on academic motivation and engagement

  • Andrew J. Martin


This study explores the effects of a youth enrichment program on academic motivation and engagement. Fifty-three students aged 14–16 years participated in the Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN). Embedded within the program were workshops revolving around the Student Motivation and Engagement Wheel [Martin (2003a). How to motivate your child for school and beyond. Sydney: Bantam] and strategies aimed at enhancing students’ academic motivation and engagement. Motivation was measured using the Student Motivation and Engagement Scale [Martin (2001). Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling 11, 1–20; Martin (2003b) Australian Journal of Education, 14, 34–49] at the outset of the program, towards the end of the program, and again 6–8 weeks later. Data showed that there were gains on key facets of students’ motivation by the end of the program – gains that were sustained 6–8 weeks later. These gains were demonstrated by boys and girls. Moreover, when compared to a larger weighted sample (2769 high school students), by Time 2 and also by Time 3, significant declines in motivation had been reversed and any pre-existing advantages or parallel strengths of the RYPEN sample over the weighted sample were maintained. Five facets of the program proposed to have contributed to its effectiveness are: the optimistic expectations held by adults, the program’s focus on mastery, the climate of cooperation and the ensuing sense of belonging, the positive relationships that developed amongst students and between students and adults, and embedding school-related elements within a broader enrichment program. Each of these is discussed.


student motivation student engagement youth programs intervention 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Self-concept Enhancement and Learning Facilitation (SELF) Research CentreUniversity of Western SydneyPenrith South DCAustralia

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