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Negative life events, self-efficacy, and social support: risk and protective factors for school dropout intentions and dropout


Samuel, Robin; Burger, Kaspar (2020). Negative life events, self-efficacy, and social support: risk and protective factors for school dropout intentions and dropout. Journal of Educational Psychology, 112(5):973-986.

Abstract

Prior studies have noted several risk and protective factors for school dropout; however, only a few have examined longer-term vulnerabilities alongside temporary risk and protective factors. Consequently, we focused on the role that both stable and time-varying psychosocial risk and protective factors play in dropout intentions and actual dropout, using a 4-year longitudinal design. We investigated to what extent dropout intentions and dropout can be predicted by an interplay between negative life events, general self-efficacy, and perceived social support. We distinguished between time-averaged levels of self-efficacy and social support, and within-person change in self-efficacy and social support over time. This enabled us to establish whether dropout intentions and dropout were sensitive to fluctuations in perceived self-efficacy and social support over time when controlling for person-specific levels of these psychosocial resources. Calculating multilevel models with data from a prospective cohort study (N = 4,956, 43% male), we found that negative life events were significantly associated with an increase in dropout intentions and the likelihood of school dropout. Furthermore, time-averaged levels of self-efficacy and social support, and a within-person (situational) increase in these characteristics relative to their time-averaged levels, were related to lower levels of dropout intentions but did not prevent dropout. The positive relationship between negative life events and dropout intentions was attenuated for individuals who perceived higher levels of self-efficacy than usual. Our findings suggest future research should further investigate time-averaged and situational psychosocial drivers of school dropout in combination.

Abstract

Prior studies have noted several risk and protective factors for school dropout; however, only a few have examined longer-term vulnerabilities alongside temporary risk and protective factors. Consequently, we focused on the role that both stable and time-varying psychosocial risk and protective factors play in dropout intentions and actual dropout, using a 4-year longitudinal design. We investigated to what extent dropout intentions and dropout can be predicted by an interplay between negative life events, general self-efficacy, and perceived social support. We distinguished between time-averaged levels of self-efficacy and social support, and within-person change in self-efficacy and social support over time. This enabled us to establish whether dropout intentions and dropout were sensitive to fluctuations in perceived self-efficacy and social support over time when controlling for person-specific levels of these psychosocial resources. Calculating multilevel models with data from a prospective cohort study (N = 4,956, 43% male), we found that negative life events were significantly associated with an increase in dropout intentions and the likelihood of school dropout. Furthermore, time-averaged levels of self-efficacy and social support, and a within-person (situational) increase in these characteristics relative to their time-averaged levels, were related to lower levels of dropout intentions but did not prevent dropout. The positive relationship between negative life events and dropout intentions was attenuated for individuals who perceived higher levels of self-efficacy than usual. Our findings suggest future research should further investigate time-averaged and situational psychosocial drivers of school dropout in combination.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Education
Social Sciences & Humanities > Developmental and Educational Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Education, Developmental and Educational Psychology
Language:English
Date:1 July 2020
Deposited On:27 Nov 2020 13:57
Last Modified:23 Jun 2024 01:45
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0022-0663
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000406
Project Information:
  • : FunderH2020
  • : Grant ID791804
  • : Project TitleDetEdIn - Micro-, Meso-, and Macro-Level Determinants of Educational Inequalities: An Interdisciplinary Approach
  • Content: Published Version