Family and classroom context effects on students' optimal experience

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Family & Consumer Studies
Author Steed, Robert Matthew
Title Family and classroom context effects on students' optimal experience
Date 2013-08
Description This study explored the combined impact of family and classroom contexts on middle school students' experience of flow and undivided interest while doing schoolwork. Flow is an intrinsically motivating experience triggered by high challenges and skills; undivided interest is an experience characterized by high interest and high goal importance. Approximately 312 middle school students at 10 schools filled out questionnaires and responded to the Experience Sampling Method (ESM), a method that uses programmable watches to signal students multiple times a day in their everyday contexts. Students' questionnaire responses on support and challenge at home were used to classify family contexts as either authoritative or nonauthoritative (i.e., authoritarian, permissive, or uninvolved); students' ESM responses on support and challenge at school were used to classify classroom contexts as authoritative or nonauthoritative. Two different ESM measures (N = approx. 4000) were also used to assess students' flow and undivided interest while doing schoolwork. The present study examined four distinct contextual combinations (authoritative family + authoritative classroom; authoritative family + nonauthoritative classroom; nonauthoritative family + authoritative classroom; and nonauthoritative family + nonauthoritative classroom) and proposed two main hypotheses: 1) that students who perceived their family as authoritative would more often perceive their classrooms as authoritative; and 2) students in the authoritative family/authoritative classroom group would report more flow and undivided interest than students in the other three family-classroom combinations. Results of chi-square analyses and follow-up contrasts revealed support for the first hypothesis: Students who perceived their home environment as authoritative more often reported feeling supported and challenged in their classrooms at school. Partial support was found for the second hypothesis: Male students in the authoritative family/authoritative classroom group reported the most flow and undivided interest. For the sample as a whole, however, immediate conditions in the classroom were the most predictive of students' flow and undivided interest at school. The implications of these findings and plans for further research are discussed.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Flow; Montessori; Undivided interest
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Master of Science
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Robert Matthew Steed 2013
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 878,757 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/2586
ARK ark:/87278/s6ht5xgs
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2013-12-02
Date Modified 2018-03-27
ID 196162
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6ht5xgs