Several studies have indicated the benefits of future planning to academic achievement, but not many have examined whether academic achievement also influences how students plan their future. Zhao and colleagues from Shandong Normal University conducted a longitudinal study to examine the relationships between Chinese junior high school students’ academic achievement and future planning in educational and occupational domains.
This study conducted three assessments six months apart from Spring 2014 to Spring 2015 in Shandong Province in eastern China. Seven hundred and seventy-five students from sixth to eighth grades participated in the first assessment wave. The questionnaire measured students’ future explorations, commitments, and their affects concerning future education and occupation. Data of their academic achievement were collected from school records of their scores in Chinese, English, and mathematics. The relationships were analyzed with data collected at different times.
The analysis showed that:
- There were reciprocal relations between academic achievement and Chinese junior students’ future educational planning.
- However, reciprocal relations were not held between academic achievement and future planning in the occupational domain.
- Commitment’s relation to achievement was more robust than that of exploration to achievement.
- The relationships were the same for both boys and girls.
The authors suggested that understanding the importance of educational performance led junior high school students to invest more effort into improving achievement. The social status brought by high academic achievement in Chinese society might also trigger positive affects concerning future planning.