Self-esteem, academic interest and academic performance: The influence of significant others

Year: 2005

Author: McInerney, Dennis, Dowson, Martin, Yeung, Alexander Seeshing, Nelson, Genevieve

Type of paper: Refereed paper

High school students in the U.S. (N=1,078; 47% boys) responded to survey items on their self-esteem and interest in schoolwork, their personal expectancy of high school completion, and their perceived support from parents, teachers and peers for their expectancy. Their GPA and days absent from school were collected from school records. Personal expectancy, parent, teacher and peer support all had significantly positive impacts on students’ self-esteem and interest in schoolwork and on GPA. The pattern of effects was consistent across the subsamples of Grades 5 to 6 (n=264), Grades 7 and 8 (n=226), and Grades 9 to 12 (n=319). Personal expectancy and teacher support also had significantly negative effects on absence from school for Grades 7 and 8. Of all the significant others considered, support from teachers had the strongest impact on selfesteem, interest and GPA in the high school subsamples. Teachers are probably the most influential agent in promoting self-esteem, interest, and academic performance in the school context.