Grade-level differences: Relations of parental, teacher and peer support to academic engagement and achievement among Hong Kong students

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Researchers have long been interested in understanding factors affecting student achievement. To contribute new insights to the literature, this study investigated grade-level differences in the relationships of students' perceived academic support (from parents, teachers and peers) to academic achievement directly and also indirectly through their perceived academic engagement. Questionnaire data were collected from 270 Hong Kong adolescents in Forms 3-5 (equivalent to Grades 9-11 in the United States). Structural equation modelling analyses revealed important and interesting grade-level differences in the academic support-based achievement relationships. Specifically, perceived parental support was negatively linked to academic achievement for Form 4 students, but it was positively related to academic achievement through perceived academic engagement for Form 3 students. Perceived teacher support was a significant predictor of academic achievement only for Form 3 students. Surprisingly, perceived peer support had no significant direct or indirect relationship to student achievement. These findings were interpreted from cultural, educational, socioeconomic and developmental perspectives. Suggestions for promoting particular sources of academic support for adolescents in different grade levels were discussed. Copyright © 2008 SAGE Publications.

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School Psychology International

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