Mind wandering, together with test anxiety and self-efficacy, predicts student’s academic self-concept but not reading comprehension skills

Lorenzo Desideri, Cristina Ottaviani, Carla Cecchetto, Paola Bonifacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background. Mind wandering (MW) has commonly been linked to bad scholastic performance; however, such association has rarely been investigated in the classroom. Moreover, in examining such association, motivational variables have been largely ignored. Aim. We aimed at examining the associations between the dispositional tendency to engage in MW and a series of reading comprehension skills and measures of academic self-concept above and beyond the role of sex, age, test anxiety, self-efficacy, and self-regulation strategies. Sample. Late adolescents (N = 272, 133 females; 17.23 ± 1.10 years) recruited from 15 classes in public high schools. Methods. Students were examined in their classroom during regular teaching activities and first performed a reading comprehension test. Then, they underwent a battery assessing literacy skills, academic self-concept, the dispositional tendency to mind wander, and aspects related to self-regulated learning. Results. Reading comprehension and literacy skills (decoding, orthographic awareness, spelling skills, and phonological abilities) were not associated with the tendency to mind wander. Instead, MW, test anxiety, and self-efficacy – but not self-regulatory strategies – were independent predictors of academic self-concept. Conclusions. This study highlights the importance of evaluating the effects of MW on academic self-concept, taking into account a complex pattern of motivational and emotional variables.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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