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Critique of a Quantitative Study

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In “Interrelations of behavioral, emotional, and cognitive school engagement in high school students. Journal of Youth and Adolescence” Li, & Lerner claim that the behavioral, cognitive, and emotional engagement are related in regards to how adolescents perform in school. Li & Lerner continues to state that these three aspects tend to influence each other in regards to time. As a two year researcher, I ought to state that I find Li, & Lerner opinions intelligent, compelling, and perhaps most notably well worth following.

Li, & Lerner use of behavioral, cognitive, and emotional aspects denotes how effective and important they are to the engagement of adolescents in schools. In their first point, Li, & Lerner state that emotional aspects tends to affect behavioral aspects, as well as cognitive aspects and thus these aspects tend to affect each other. This implies that emotional aspects leads to behavioral aspects, which in turn leads to cognitive aspects, but the vice versa has not been fully researched. Li & Lerner argue that the combination of these three aspects poses a great influence on an adolescent engagement in school.

Li & Lerner during their study noted that emotion is the point of entry or the main drive for the other engagements. They argued that when emotional engagement increases, it leads to active participation, which however leads to increased cognitive engagement. However, Li, & Lerner continues to claim that during their research, they never expected that behavioral expectation would predict cognitive or emotional engagements in adolescents. This is the aspect that led them to their study regarding positive youth development.

This study was aimed at understanding developmental assets effects in the campaign of positive youth development during adolescents. Li & Lerner decided to use data resulting from the Grades 9-11 waves or the waves five to seven from the 4-H study regarding positive youth development. The 4-H study is a continuing longitudinal examination of adolescents that emphasizes on measuring and defining the key features of positive youth development, as well as understanding developmental assets effects in the campaign of positive youth development during adolescents.

The study conducted by Li, & Lerner involved them looking at various demographic and non-demographic aspects of the parent and the adolescents. This was all embedded in the student and parent questionnaire. Li & Lerner stated that these factors were necessary for understanding the school engagement of an adolescent. The main aim of this study was to scrutinize the interrelationships between emotional, behavioral, and cognitive school engagement with time. The study hypothesized that emotions might be the point of access to this relational process. However, the variations in the behavioral aspect affected cognitive and emotional engagement. The study further found out that behavioral aspect was stable unlike cognitive and emotional aspects, which were moderately stable.

Li, & Lerner thought that the study would bring their expectation that cognitive and emotional engagement would lead to more behavioral engagement, and that previous emotional engagement would also lead to cognitive engagement.

The overall present findings indicate that school engagement possesses its own inner dynamics, in which behavior, cognition, and emotional influence each other, thus intensify themselves over time. The findings were partly in line with the suggestion that motivational thoughts and positive emotions increases participation, and that positive mood broaden cognitive capacity. Contrary to Li, & Lerner suggestions, behavioral aspect turned out to be an important predictor of cognitive and engagement during both intervals. The most outstanding aspect with the finding is that the connection between emotional and behavioral aspects are not unidirectional, but bidirectional.

This article supports its claims by quoting various researchers work and what they proposed about that idea. Among the researchers it puts in place is (Skinner et al.2008) who said that behavior, cognition, and emotional influence each other, thus intensify themselves over time. The other researcher that Li, & Lerner quoted their work was (Glanville and Wildhagen 2007) who stated that school engagement is very vital in academic achievement theories, as well as the broader child growth literature.

The basis of my critique will regard the aspect that behavior, cognition, and emotional influence each other, thus
intensify themselves over time. Adolescents at this stage are said to have many conditions undergoing inside their bodies. Based on this fact, these three aspects are very vital in this stage as they tend to have the huge influence.

Adolescents at this stage tend to change their behavior and emotions based on what goes on in their bodies. Basing on this fact, during adolescents, students tend to change their behaviors as a result of emotional changes, which thus escalate to cognitive engagement. The support and affection that adolescents get at this stage have a vital role in their performance in school. During this stage, many students tend to perform as per the affection they receive from the society. This is an aspect that Li & Lerner explains that there are other non-demographic and demographic aspects that pose a huge impact on the emotional, behavioral and cognitive engagements.

Strengths and weakness of the article

This article has some strengths and weaknesses that it possesses. Some of the strengths that it portrays include the aspect that it clearly highlights the relationship between the three engagements, which are cognitive, behavioral, and emotional. This study states that behavior, cognition, and emotional influence each other, thus intensify themselves over time. This is an aspect that is clearly outlined in the whole study. This is an aspect that makes it possible also for teachers to understand what to look for in adolescents as a way of determining their performance. The weakness with this study is that even after the whole research that it undertakes, it does not accomplish the aspect of identifying if cognitive engagement affects emotional and behavioral engagements. This is an aspect that has not been clearly outlined by former studies an aspect that this study should have focused on.

In conclusion, the study conducted by Li, & Lerner and (Skinner et al.2008) is very vital for teachers, parents and adolescent students. These articles are very instrumental as they point out the factors that play and influence the school engagement of adolescents. This study should also go further to understand how cognitive engagement affects emotional and behavioral aspects.