A future time perspective of secondary school students' academic engagement and disengagement

a longitudinal investigation

Emma C. Burns, Andrew J. Martin*, Rebecca J. Collie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Students' conceptions of their academic futures, such as completing secondary school, have been found to play a significant role in their current behavior. Indeed, research regarding future time perspectives (FTP) indicates that students with extended FTPs are likely to be more engaged and less disengaged over time. Extended FTPs comprise two critical motivating elements: the cognitive (i.e., importance value) and the dynamic (i.e., school completion aspirations). Although these elements are hypothetically reciprocally related and without temporal limitation to their motivational effects, these claims have largely gone untested. These claims were examined via longitudinal structural equation modelling with cross-lagged panel analysis and invariance testing in a sample of 1327 Australian secondary school students. Findings indicated that importance value is directionally salient over school completion aspirations (such that it may precede school completion aspirations), both are associated with higher engagement and lower disengagement over time, and evidence of temporal limitations on the motivational benefits of the elements of extended FTPs was not found. School-based interventions that focus on improving importance value and school completion aspirations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-123
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • future time perspectives
  • engagement
  • disengagement
  • cross-lagged panel analysis
  • adolescence
  • importance value
  • aspirations
  • school completion

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