Classifying Academically At-Risk First Graders into Engagement Types: Association with Long-Term Achievement Trajectories. Academic Article uri icon


  • Based on a sample of 480 academically at-risk first graders, we used a cluster analysis involving multimethod assessment (i.e., teacher-report, peer-evaluation, and self-report) of behavioral and psychological engagement to identify subtypes of academic engagement. Four theoretically and practically meaningful clusters were identified and labeled as cooperative (n = 95), resistive (n =96), enthusiastic (n = 188), and disaffected (n = 101). The four types did not differ in IQ measured with the Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test. The cooperative group consisted of more female and Hispanic students, whereas the resistive group consisted of more male and African American students. The cooperative group was the most popular among peers, followed by the enthusiastic group. The disaffected and resistive groups had more emotional symptoms than the cooperative and enthusiastic groups. Academic engagement types also differed in growth trajectories of academic achievement measured with Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Achievement from second to fourth grade. For reading, the cooperative and enthusiastic groups outperformed the resistive and disaffected groups at the beginning. However, the growth rate was similar across engagement types. For math, the engagement types did not differ at the beginning. However, the cooperative group developed at a faster rate and had higher math achievement by fourth grade than the other types. The findings support the importance of teaching temperament-based regulatory skills and of providing a positive psychological climate for children's academic learning.

published proceedings

  • Elem Sch J

author list (cited authors)

  • Luo, W., Hughes, J. N., Liew, J., & Kwok, O.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Luo, Wen||Hughes, Jan N||Liew, Jeffrey||Kwok, Oiman

publication date

  • March 2009