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Grade retention and academic self‐concept : a multilevel analysis of the effects of schools’ retention composition

Timo Van Canegem (UGent) , Mieke Van Houtte (UGent) and Jannick Demanet (UGent)
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Abstract
Previous studies on the impact of grade retention on academic self-concept suffer from inconclusive findings. There is no consensus if retention yields long-term benefits that could offset its opportunity costs and, if so, under what conditions. Therefore, this article examines whether grade retention decreases academic self-concept and whether this relationship is mediated by sense of belonging. Moreover, we aim to contextualise retention research by accounting for schools' retention composition. Based on reference group theory, the effect of grade retention composition on academic self-concept is expected to be twofold. Normative reference grouping leads to the assumption that students in high retention composition schools will exhibit lower levels of academic self-concept, because retainees' values are more likely to spread across all students within the same school. Comparative reference grouping might lead to a moderation effect of retention composition on the relationship between grade retention and academic self-concept. Multilevel analyses on International Study of City Youth data, consisting of 2,354 students in 30 secondary schools in Ghent (Flanders), revealed a negative association between grade retention and academic self-concept, which was mediated by sense of belonging. Students in high retention composition schools had a significantly lower academic self-concept. The impact of being retained on academic self-concept is not affected by the number of retainees within a given context. Implications are discussed.
Keywords
Education, academic self-concept, grade retention, multilevel research, reference group theory

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MLA
Van Canegem, Timo, et al. “Grade Retention and Academic Self‐concept : A Multilevel Analysis of the Effects of Schools’ Retention Composition.” BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL, 2021, doi:10.1002/berj.3729.
APA
Van Canegem, T., Van Houtte, M., & Demanet, J. (2021). Grade retention and academic self‐concept : a multilevel analysis of the effects of schools’ retention composition. BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL. https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3729
Chicago author-date
Van Canegem, Timo, Mieke Van Houtte, and Jannick Demanet. 2021. “Grade Retention and Academic Self‐concept : A Multilevel Analysis of the Effects of Schools’ Retention Composition.” BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL. https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3729.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Canegem, Timo, Mieke Van Houtte, and Jannick Demanet. 2021. “Grade Retention and Academic Self‐concept : A Multilevel Analysis of the Effects of Schools’ Retention Composition.” BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL. doi:10.1002/berj.3729.
Vancouver
1.
Van Canegem T, Van Houtte M, Demanet J. Grade retention and academic self‐concept : a multilevel analysis of the effects of schools’ retention composition. BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL. 2021;
IEEE
[1]
T. Van Canegem, M. Van Houtte, and J. Demanet, “Grade retention and academic self‐concept : a multilevel analysis of the effects of schools’ retention composition,” BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL, 2021.
@article{8707639,
  abstract     = {{Previous studies on the impact of grade retention on academic self-concept suffer from inconclusive findings. There is no consensus if retention yields long-term benefits that could offset its opportunity costs and, if so, under what conditions. Therefore, this article examines whether grade retention decreases academic self-concept and whether this relationship is mediated by sense of belonging. Moreover, we aim to contextualise retention research by accounting for schools' retention composition. Based on reference group theory, the effect of grade retention composition on academic self-concept is expected to be twofold. Normative reference grouping leads to the assumption that students in high retention composition schools will exhibit lower levels of academic self-concept, because retainees' values are more likely to spread across all students within the same school. Comparative reference grouping might lead to a moderation effect of retention composition on the relationship between grade retention and academic self-concept. Multilevel analyses on International Study of City Youth data, consisting of 2,354 students in 30 secondary schools in Ghent (Flanders), revealed a negative association between grade retention and academic self-concept, which was mediated by sense of belonging. Students in high retention composition schools had a significantly lower academic self-concept. The impact of being retained on academic self-concept is not affected by the number of retainees within a given context. Implications are discussed.}},
  author       = {{Van Canegem, Timo and Van Houtte, Mieke and Demanet, Jannick}},
  issn         = {{0141-1926}},
  journal      = {{BRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL}},
  keywords     = {{Education,academic self-concept,grade retention,multilevel research,reference group theory}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  title        = {{Grade retention and academic self‐concept : a multilevel analysis of the effects of schools’ retention composition}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/berj.3729}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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