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Since motivation is an essential element in school success, it becomes critical that school psychologists understand how academic motivation influences middle school students' academic achievement. The behavior characteristics exhibited by academically motivated middle school students and some interventions for at-risk students are reported. The research was based on a group of eighth grade students (N=149) who live in a small rural community. The students, along with 16 teachers, were asked to complete various surveys. Additionally, students' school records were used to provide background information. Factor analysis of the results suggests that students identified the following characteristics as those that academically motivated students possess: they complete their schoolwork, do what they are supposed to in school, do their best in school, get good grades, and have good work habits. Teachers perceived motivated students to believe school is important, work hard in school, love school and love learning, have positive attitudes about school, and have high educational aspirations. Results indicate that students' school behavior directly influences teachers' perception of motivation and that teacher perception of motivation influences grades; that is, students' motivation and their school behaviors directly influence their grades. (RJM)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Adolescents, Grade 8, High Risk Students, Intervention, Junior High Schools, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Pupil Personnel Services, Rural Youth, Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics, Student Motivation, Success, Teacher Attitudes

Autor: Keith, Patricia B.; Wetherbee, Michael J.; Kindzia, Debora L.


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