Students' behavioral and emotional participation in academic activities in the mathematics classroom: A multilevel confirmatory factor analysis

Zhonghua ZHANG, Chi Kin John LEE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

In this research, the authors raised the issue that prior studies had failed to address the nested structure of data in examining the construct validity of an instrument measuring students' behavioral and emotional participation in academic activities in the classroom. To address this question, the authors illustrated the utility of the multilevel confirmatory factor analysis (MCFA) approach to reexamine the construct validity of this instrument. The sample consisted of 2,041 students in 5th grade from 67 classes in Hong Kong. First, the results justified the requirement of MCFA and indicated that the 4-factor model tested with MCFA provided better fit to the data than that tested with a single-level confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Second, the study also provided adequate support for a multilevel second-order two-factor model that distinguished engagement from disaffection. Third, the factor structure was invariant across the student level and the classroom level for both the 4-factor model and the second-order two-factor model. Fourth, the results highlighted the presence of ambiguity in differentiating between the dimensions at the classroom level and supported the unidimensionality of the classroom-level construct. Fifth, student engagement was significantly and positively correlated with mathematics test scores, teachers' classroom-management practices, teacher support, and student order in the classroom. Finally, the authors discuss the implications of the study and its limitations and offer suggestions for model selection and explorations for future research. Copyright © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-632
JournalThe Journal of Experimental Education
Volume86
Issue number4
Early online dateJun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Citation

Zhang, Z., & Lee, J. C.-K. (2018). Students' behavioral and emotional participation in academic activities in the mathematics classroom: A multilevel confirmatory factor analysis. The Journal of Experimental Education, 86(4), 610-632. doi: 10.1080/00220973.2017.1335684

Keywords

  • Academic engagement
  • Behavioral and emotional participation
  • Classroom
  • Disaffection
  • Multilevel confirmatory factor analysis

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