Personality and academic performance outcomes: the mediating role of engagement

by Jenna Alexandra Yates

Institution: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Year: 2017
Keywords: academic performance; personality; mediation; engagement; effort; perceived fit
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2155005
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/98084


Attention to the factors that contribute to academic success has increased over the past decade with the fluctuating changes in the U.S. economy and unemployment rates (DAllesandro, 2012; Rose, 2013). Historically, one of the most commonly studied predictors of academic performance has been cognitive ability. In recent years, research has shifted beyond cognitive ability to identifying additional individual difference factors, including noncognitive factors. This study aims to contribute to the literature examining noncognitive factors. This study considered two samples consisting of n = 267 and n = 190 college students from a midwestern university. The study investigated the variables core self-evaluations (CSE), developmental work personality (DWP) and Type D personality (DS14) their direct effect on academic success. In addition, engagement was examined as a potential mediator between these variables and academic success. Key findings illustrated (a) the variables CSE and DWP had a significant positive direct effect on effort predicting a total of 6% of the variance while controlling for gender; (b) the variable CSE had a significant positive direct effect on perceived fit predicting a total of 19% of the variance while controlling for demographic variables (age, gender, and year in school); (c) the variable engagement significantly mediated the relationship between CSE and effort, DWP and effort, and CSE and perceived fit. Conclusions from this study revealed that the noncognitive factors of CSE, DWP and engagement impact academic performance outcomes. Through continuing research, it is hoped that the findings from this study will contribute to the development of interventions at the university level with the goal of facilitating positive retention outcomes and individual academic success rates.Advisors/Committee Members: Strauser, David (advisor), Strauser, David (Committee Chair), Rounds, James (committee member), Chui, Chung-Yi (committee member), Wong, Alex (committee member).