Based on the theoretical perspective of self-determination, this study examined the effects of basic need fulfillment (relatedness/competence/autonomy) on students' school enjoyment before and after the transition from primary to secondary school. Furthermore, the academic and social impact of control beliefs on the emotions triggered by the upcoming transition was tested. The sample consisted of 63 students who filled out questionnaires at different time points before (grade 4; students between the ages of 9 and 10) and after (grade 5) the primary-secondary transition. The results highlight the importance of a positive teacher-student relationship as well as positive relationships amongst the students themselves for students' school enjoyment before and after the transition. In terms of the emotions evoked by the upcoming transition, the results reveal that students with higher academic self-concept experienced more positive emotions than students with lower academic self-concept. From these findings, it can be concluded that positive relationships and the belief in one's own academic capabilities can contribute to the likelihood of experiencing the transition to secondary school as an event accompanied by positive emotions such as joy and excitement rather than a stressful or threatening life-event.
Hagenauer, G., Reitbauer, E., & Hascher, T. (2013). “it’s cool but challenging” the relevance of basic need fulfillment for students’ School Enjoyment and Emotional Experiences at the Transition from Primary to Secondary Education. Orbis Scholae, 7(2), 23–42. https://doi.org/10.14712/23363177.2015.19