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Academic disengagement among disadvantaged minority groups has received considerable attention within the psychological literature, and such research has attempted to identify variables that may reduce the risk of disengagement. With regard to this investigation, longitudinal structural equation modeling techniques were used across a sample of secondary school students to test whether Aboriginality (being Indigenous or non-Indigenous Australian), academic self-concept, and academic disengagement were causally related (once the effects of prior measures had been accounted for). The results suggest that although Aboriginality held a significant correlation with disengagement (suggesting that Indigenous students are more likely to disengage from school), the causal impact of this variable seems to be negated when the causal impact of academic self-concept is also considered. These results suggest that enhancing academic self-concept may be a useful strategy for addressing patterns of school disengagement that have been repeatedly noted for Indigenous Australian students.

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Journal Article

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