Student School Achievement: Testing a Model of Academic Competence

Ivan Dević


Different characteristics of student school achievement are
discussed based on the theoretical model of school
competence (DiPerna, Volpe & Elliot, 2002, 2005). The aim
of this research was to test the model of school competence
in which additionally, as a predictor of school achievement, a
measure of student cognitive ability was used. Elementary
school students in grades 7-8 (N = 393) from five schools in
Zagreb and its surroundings and their teachers (N = 22)
participated in this study. The results of structural equation
modeling analyses provided support regarding the fit of the
model with teacher ratings, explaining 55% variance of
student school achievement. Mediation analyses indicated
that motivation fully mediated the link between school and
social skills and achievement and partially mediated the link
between cognitive ability and achievement. An examination
of the six predictor variables' overall contributions to current
achievement, indicates that motivation and study skills
demonstrated large total effects with current achievement,
while academic enablers and cognitive ability demonstrated
moderate total effects.


model of school competence; school achievement; motivation; study skills; cognitive ability; structural equation modeling

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