Research Article

Grade 12 performance and academic performance in first-year psychology students: Influences of generational status and academic self-concept

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 31, issue 4, 2021 , pages: 319–325
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2021.1952703
Author(s): Lené Groenewald, South Africa, Luzelle Naudé, South Africa, Karel Esterhuyse, South Africa

Abstract

We examined the relationship between students’ Grade 12 achievement and their first-year academic performance and the potential moderating and/or mediating roles of generational status and academic self-concept in this relationship. Participants were 203 students (female = 82.8%; black African =73.9%; mean age =19.46 years, SD = 1.36 years). They completed a self-concept scale and self-reported their demographic and academic information. A series of multiple regression analyses were conducted. Results indicated that Grade 12 academic performance explained a significant amount of variance in first-year marks (10.5%). Generational status was not a moderator in the relationship between students’ Grade 12 achievement and their first-year academic performance. Academic self-concept had a main effect on participants’ psychology marks but was neither a mediator nor a moderator. Our findings are consistent with the evidence that academic performance in higher education is dependent on prior academic performance and academic self-concept. There remains a need for studies on contextual factors that would explain the complex interplay of factors that influence the achievement of students in the transition from high school to university.

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