Am I in the right place? Academic engagement and study success during the first years at university

Elina E. Ketonen*, Anne Haarala-Muhonen, Laura Hirsto, Jari J. Hänninen, Kristiina Wähälä, Kirsti Lonka

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)


    Entrance to university does not automatically lead to high academic engagement and success, and there may be individual differences in student engagement. In the present study, university students' (N = 668) academic engagement and disengagement profiles, and the differences between them in terms of academic achievement, were investigated. Students from introductory courses were classified by Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) into homogenous groups having similar patterns according to the following variables: study engagement, study-related exhaustion, lack of interest, lack of self-regulation, and uncertainty of one's career choice. Four groups of students were identified: engaged, disengaged, undecided, and alienated. Engaged students received the highest grades, with disengaged and undecided students performing most poorly. In addition, the profiles were related to the behavioral indicators of engagement (i.e., ECTS credits). Even after two years of studying, engaged students were performing better than disengaged students. The study's implications for both research and practice are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)141-148
    Number of pages8
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Academic achievement
    • Academic engagement
    • Latent profile analysis
    • Self-regulated learning
    • University students


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