Developing integrated life goals that support school success: personal and familial factors that promote a successful transition to Cégep



We conducted a series of studies examining the impact of goal and need conflict on high school students' school involvement, persistence and adaptation.

The failure to integrate school-related goals with other important life goals and the emergence of need conflict related to school involvement contribute to school alienation, poor adaptation and dropout.

This project emphasizes the critical importance of motivational factors related to adolescents' need satisfaction.

Six articles and one conference paper were prepared:

  1. The first article describes a novel approach to considering the way in which adolescents experience need satisfaction across diverse contexts (school, work, home, with friends), and showed that the balance of need satisfaction across such contexts significantly predicts a number of adolescent adjustment outcomes, including school involvement and persistence.  
  2. The second article explores the relationship between need conflict and the pursuit of academic success.
  3. The third article makes use of a very large adolescent sample to examine how the quality of part-time work experiences impacts students' intentions to drop out of school.
  4. The fourth and fifth articles explore school performance and adjustment among performing arts students. The two prospective studies make a significant contribution to traditional achievement goal theory by highlighting the importance of intrinsic-aesthetic goals. 
  5. The sixth article provides a meta-analysis of all previous studies examining the relation of academic motivation to school performance, satisfaction and persistence.
  6. The conference paper outlines how autodetermined motivation and academic self-efficacy play an important role in students' adjustment over time, particularly across school transitions.

Together, these articles emphasize the critical importance of motivational factors related to need satisfaction in the lives of adolescents.

Main researcher

Richard F. Koestner, McGill University

Research report

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: March 2008