NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ892653
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 104
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Should Students Have a Gap Year? Motivation and Performance Factors Relevant to Time Out after Completing School
Martin, Andrew J.
Journal of Educational Psychology, v102 n3 p561-576 Aug 2010
Increasingly, school leavers are taking time out from study or formal work after completing high school--often referred to as a "gap year" (involving structured activities such as "volunteer tourism" and unstructured activities such as leisure). Although much opinion exists about the merits--or otherwise--of taking time out after completing school, relatively little research has sought to understand the gap year from a psychoeducational perspective. Harnessing the theories of planned behavior and reasoned action and using structural equation modeling, the author examines the academic factors that predict gap year intentions among 2,502 high school students (Study 1) and the academic profile in respect to gap year participation of 338 students in university or college (Study 2). Findings in Study 1 show that postschool uncertainty and lower levels of academic motivation predict gap year intentions, that lower motivation and lower performance predict postschool uncertainty, and that these effects are significant over and above the effects of demographic (gender, age, ethnicity) covariates. Findings in Study 2 show that gap year participation positively predicts academic motivation and that this effect is significant over and above the effects of demographic covariates. The present investigation centrally positions psychoeducational theorizing in relation to the potential yields of a gap year in resolving problematic motivation and performance profiles that may have precipitated students' postschool uncertainty and interest in taking a year out after completing school. (Contains 4 tables and 3 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A