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The aim of this study was to examine how expectancy of success, attainment value, and their interaction predicted behavioural engagement, and how behavioural engagement, in turn, predicted achievement. Data were collected from 586 English students aged 10–11 years in their final year of primary school. Expectancy of success was positively related to subsequent achievement directly and indirectly, mediated by behavioural engagement, over and above the variance accounted for by prior achievement and behavioural engagement. Indirect relations from expectancy of success to achievement were moderated by attainment value. Higher attainment value protected performance from low expectancy of success by increasing behavioural engagement. The compensatory role of high attainment value diminished at higher levels of expectancy of success.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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