Student Optimism and Pessimism during the Transition to Co-education.

Year: 2000

Author: YATES, S

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The optimistic or pessimistic manner in which students account for the causes of events in their lives has been shown to have an influence on their personal adjustment, health, motivation and academic achievement. In this study longitudinal data on students' optimism and pessimism were collected immediately before and for the first two years following the introduction of co-education to a single sex boys' school. Information was obtained also on a number of other attitudinal and self descriptive measures, together with an index of achievement. The study involved all primary and secondary students in the school.

In addition, in the first year of the study all of the instruments were administered to all primary and secondary students in a comparable single sex girls' school. Each of the questionnaires and the measure of achievement were Rasch scaled, so as to bring them to scales with common metrics. Comparisons were made between genders, across grade levels and across time, with a particular emphasis on changes associated with the transition from the single sex to co-educational school environment.