Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 51–73 | Cite as

An examination of social and psychological influences on academic learning: a focus on self-esteem, social relationships, and personal interest

  • Huy P. Phan
  • Bing H. Ngu


The present study focused on an examination of both global and domain-specific self-esteems in secondary mathematics learning. The extent to which self-esteem, in general, would account and explain educational success through social relationships with teachers and peers, and personal interest in learning tasks is the main inquiry of this correlational investigation. Two hundred and eighty-three year 10 students (128 girls, 155 boys) were asked to respond to a number of Likert-scale inventories. Causal modeling procedures, aided by the statistical software MPlus 7.3, were used to analyze the data and to test the hypothesized model. A series of a posteriori analyses yielded a modified model for discussion, producing a number of key findings, namely: (a) the differential influences of both global (e.g., →relationship with teachers) and domain-specific (e.g., →relationship with peers) self-esteems, (b) the positive influences of social relation with teachers (e.g., →exam result) and interest in learning tasks (e.g., →end-of-school term grade), and (c) the mediating functioning of relationship with peers and interest in learning tasks. This evidence, overall, provides additional theoretical insights into the operational nature and trajectories of effective learning.


Enactive learning experience Self-esteem Social relationships Personal interest in learning tasks 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia

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