Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


First Advisor

Kathleen Rudasill

Date of this Version



A Thesis presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Arts, Major: Educational Psychology, Under the Supervision of Professor Kathleen Moritz Rudasill. Lincoln, NE:. April 2017.

Copyright (c) 2017 Kate Nicole Sirota


Student engagement and motivation have been well-documented as important precursors to academic success for students at the critical transition to high school. This study explores predictors of academic success in terms of both classroom climate and student temperament, two factors that have been extensively studied in young children and college student populations, but less so during the adolescent years. A group of 140 high school freshmen completed a survey regarding their attitudes and perceptions related to their English class. Bivariate and canonical correlation was used in this study to establish correlational relationships between certain classroom climate and temperament predictors and various student outcomes related to engagement and motivation. Results indicated that certain climate predictors (e.g. presence of rigor and sense of relevance of material) and certain temperament predictors (e.g. attention, inhibitory control, and depressive mood) were especially salient in terms of predicting engagement and motivation for this age group.

Advisor: Kathleen Moritz Rudasill