Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Academic Disengagement More Common For US Teens Than Chinese

Date:
July 20, 2009
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
A longitudinal study of more than 800 Chinese and American students over 7th and 8th grades has found that academic disengagement is greater for American teens than for Chinese teens. American youths reported being less motivated academically as they made their way through 7th and 8th grades. In contrast, Chinese youths' reports suggested that the value they placed on achievement, their use of constructive learning strategies and the time they spent studying stayed stable.

In the United States, adolescence is a time when many teens become less interested in academics. A new longitudinal study has found that this disengagement is greater for American teens than for Chinese teens.

The study, by psychologists at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, appears in the July/August 2009 issue of Child Development, a journal. It may help explain why Chinese children consistently outperform Americans in academic areas such as math.

The researchers followed more than 800 Americans and Chinese from 7th to 8th grade. The students completed questionnaires four times over two years, reporting on how much they valued achievement and how they viewed mastery (specifically, whether they liked to do difficult work in a particular subject). They also reported on their use of constructive learning strategies and how much time they spent on schoolwork outside of school. The youths' grades also were collected.

American youths reported being less motivated academically as they made their way through 7th and 8th grades. Over time, they placed less value on achievement, grew less concerned with mastery, used fewer constructive learning strategies, and spent less time studying. In contrast, Chinese youths' reports suggested that the value they placed on achievement, their use of constructive learning strategies, and the time they spent studying stayed stable.

"This may be because in China, a higher priority is placed on learning because it is seen as a key to future success and is considered a moral undertaking," explains Qian Wang, assistant professor of psychology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the study's lead author.

The study also found that both American and Chinese students became less concerned in middle school with mastering schoolwork. "This decline in both countries may reflect a poor fit between children's developing psychological needs and school settings," adds Wang.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wang, Q and Pomerantz, EM. The Motivational Landscape of Early Adolescence in the United States and China: A Longitudinal Investigation. Child Development, Vol. 80, Issue 4

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Academic Disengagement More Common For US Teens Than Chinese." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090715074932.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2009, July 20). Academic Disengagement More Common For US Teens Than Chinese. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090715074932.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Academic Disengagement More Common For US Teens Than Chinese." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090715074932.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) Researchers claim they’ve diagnosed the first example of the disorder in a 31-year-old U.S. Navy serviceman. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins