Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Shannon M. Suldo


Advanced Placement, High-achieving students, International Baccalaureate, late adolescents, student engagement


Student engagement is a multifaceted construct gaining increased interest within the fields of psychology and education. Current literature suggests that student engagement is linked to important student outcomes including academic achievement, psychopathology, and mental wellness; however, there is a dearth of studies that have examined all components of student engagement simultaneously as they relate to the aforementioned outcomes. Additionally, past literature has found support for a decreasing trend in student engagement across the school years, but less attention has been paid to student engagement in the high school years. Among high school students, a particular subgroup has been virtually ignored: high-achieving students enrolled in college-level curricula such as International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP). Research questions answered in the current study pertain to: (a) differences in the components of student engagement among IB and AP students, (b) differences in the components of student engagement of IB and AP students across grade level, (c) the extent to which student engagement relates to academic achievement, and (d) the extent to which student engagement relates to mental health. To answer these questions, self-report surveys and school records data from 727 IB and AP high school students were analyzed. Several main effects for program type and grade level were found among the various dimensions of engagement, as well as two interactions between program type and grade level. Regarding predictive relationships, results indicate that the linear combination of all seven indicators of student engagement accounted for 19.56% of the variance in students' academic achievement, 17.47% of the variance in students' life satisfaction, and 6.17% of the variance in students' anxiety. Implications for school psychologists and future directions are discussed.

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