Latest Research News on Academic Performance : Feb 2022

Facebook® and academic performance

There is much talk of a change in modern youth – often referred to as digital natives or Homo Zappiens – with respect to their ability to simultaneously process multiple channels of information. In other words, kids today can multitask. Unfortunately for proponents of this position, there is much empirical documentation concerning the negative effects of attempting to simultaneously process different streams of information showing that such behavior leads to both increased study time to achieve learning parity and an increase in mistakes while processing information than those who are sequentially or serially processing that same information. This article presents the preliminary results of a descriptive and exploratory survey study involving Facebook use, often carried out simultaneously with other study activities, and its relation to academic performance as measured by self-reported Grade Point Average (GPA) and hours spent studying per week. Results show that Facebook® users reported having lower GPAs and spend fewer hours per week studying than nonusers.[1]

Academic Performance and Delinquency

A meta-analysis of naturalistic studies of the academic performance-delinquency relationship and of intervention studies aimed both at improving academic performance and reducing delinquency found that children with lower academic performance offended more frequently, committed more serious and violent offenses, and persisted in their offending. The association was stronger for males than females and for whites than for African Americans. Academic performance predicted delinquency independent of socioeconomic status. Some intervention and prevention programs, using law-related or moral education components with adolescent children and self-control, social skills, and parent training components with young school-age children, were found to effect significant improvements in academic performance and delinquency.[2]

Diet Quality and Academic Performance
Background: Although the effects of nutrition on health and school performance are often cited, few research studies have examined the effect of diet quality on the academic performance of children. This study examines the association between overall diet quality and academic performance.

Methods: In 2003, 5200 grade 5 students in Nova Scotia, Canada, and their parents were surveyed as part of the Children’s Lifestyle and School-performance Study. Information on dietary intake, height, and weight and sociodemographic variables were linked to results of a provincial standardized literacy assessment. Diet Quality Index—International was used to summarize overall diet quality. Multilevel regression methods were used to examine the association between indicators of diet quality and academic performance while adjusting for gender and socioeconomic characteristics of parents and residential neighborhoods.

Results: Across various indicators of diet quality, an association with academic performance was observed. Students with decreased overall diet quality were significantly more likely to perform poorly on the assessment. Girls performed better than boys as did children from socioeconomically advantaged families. Children attending better schools and living in wealthy neighborhoods also performed better. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate an association between diet quality and academic performance and identify specific dietary factors that contribute to this association. Additionally, this research supports the broader implementation and investment in effective school nutrition programs that have the potential to improve student access to healthy food choices, diet quality, academic performance, and, over the long term, health.[3]

Academic and Social Motivational Influences on Students’ Academic Performance

We discuss ways in which aspects of academic and social motivation interact to influence student’s academic performance. Research on academic and social motivational constructs is reviewed, focusing on students’ ability and efficacy beliefs, control beliefs, achievement values, and achievement goal orientations. Relations between academic and social motivational processes are discussed, as well as how motivational processes from both domains might interact to influence academic outcomes. We also discuss motivation from the perspective of contextual factors and school socialization processes that have the potential to influence student motivation and subsequent performance. In this regard, teachers’ instructional practices and interpersonal relationships with students are highlighted as potentially powerful factors influencing student motivation and performance.[4]

The Causal Effect of Studying on Academic Performance

While a substantial amount of recent attention has been paid to understanding the determinants of educational outcomes, little is known about the causal impact of the most fundamental input in the education production function – a student’s study effort. In this paper, we examine the causal effect of studying on grade performance by taking advantage of unique, new data that has been collected specifically for this purpose. Important for understanding the potential impact of a wide array of education policies, the results suggest that human capital accumulation is far from predetermined at the time of college entrance.[5]


[1] Kirschner, P.A. and Karpinski, A.C., 2010. Facebook® and academic performance. Computers in human behavior, 26(6), pp.1237-1245.

[2] Maguin, E. and Loeber, R., 1996. Academic performance and delinquency. Crime and justice, 20, pp.145-264.

[3] Florence, M.D., Asbridge, M. and Veugelers, P.J., 2008. Diet quality and academic performance. Journal of school health, 78(4), pp.209-215.

[4] Wentzel, K.R. and Wigfield, A., 1998. Academic and social motivational influences on students’ academic performance. Educational Psychology Review, 10(2), pp.155-175.

[5] Stinebrickner, R. and Stinebrickner, T.R., 2008. The causal effect of studying on academic performance. The BE Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 8(1).


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