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Does perceived cohesion mediate the student personality–engagement relationship in the university setting?

Abstract : Student engagement has been established as a robust predictor of several positive outcomes related to academic development and success. Increasing our knowledge on what variables affect engagement can assist lecturers and other educational agents in maximizing student engagement within the university setting. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between personality and student engagement via the mediational role of perceived cohesion in the university classroom. The model was tested using multilevel structural equation modelling and cross-sectional data from 1500 students (72% female) belonging to 72 different university classrooms. The mediation model linking the personality dimensions with engagement via perceived cohesion, including task and social orientations, was partially supported by the data. Task cohesion mediated the positive relationship between three personality dimensions (i.e., agreeableness, extraversion, and emotional stability) and student engagement. No significant results were found with social cohesion as a mediator of the personality-engagement relationship. These findings suggest that building and developing a cohesive environment in the university setting, especially with regards to task cohesion, may be an effective strategy to promote student engagement. However, the specific characteristics of the university environment should be also considered (e.g., academic major or time spent in small work groups vs time spent in large ‘traditional’ lecture theatres). Recommendations for future research are discussed.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 6, 2021 - 4:53:42 PM
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Grégoire Bosselut, Oscar Castro, Séverine Chevalier, Evelyne Fouquereau. Does perceived cohesion mediate the student personality–engagement relationship in the university setting?. Journal of Educational Psychology, American Psychological Association, 2020, 112 (8), pp.1692-1700. ⟨10.1037/edu0000442⟩. ⟨hal-03279736⟩



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