A contextually adapted model of school engagement in Kazakhstan

Liz Winter, Daniel Hernández-Torrano, Ros McLellan, Ainur Almukhambetova, Eva Brown-Hajdukova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study introduces a culturally adapted 17-item scale of school engagement. It offers an important contribution to the international literature by seeking to measure the school engagement of young people in a society undergoing transition from a collectivist to individualist mind-set alongside an education system focused on improving performance in international benchmarks such as those from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA) and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA Trends In International Mathematics And Science Study, TIMSS). To date, little has been written on how intra-individual and inter-individual factors contribute to young people’s engagement in education as societal and systemic educational reform occurs. The school engagement scale is validated by testing the empirical fit of a second-order multidimensional factor model of school engagement taken from the Western literature to large-scale data in Kazakhstan. Culturally relevant features are added such as the strong influence of ‘important others’. The model tested was formed from 1) an individual’s cognitions and behaviours associated with school and 2) the social influences of parents, peers, and teachers. 1767 secondary education students in Kazakhstan participated in the study. Confirmatory analyses supported the hypothesized additional contributory factors to school engagement. Use of the overall model indicated differences in means across gender, grade, school-type, and geographic location to show: (1) higher cognitive engagement for young women; (2) rural students with higher levels of behavioural engagement; and (3) substantial differences in social support by grade and rurality.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Attitudes to school
  • Contributory factors
  • Kazakhstan
  • Measurement scale
  • Post-soviet
  • School engagement
  • Societal transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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