American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
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American Journal of Educational Research. 2018, 6(12), 1702-1709
DOI: 10.12691/education-6-12-17
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The Relationship between First Year Students’ Interaction, Basic Psychological Needs, and Academic Success

Nasser Mohamedhoesein1, and Maurice Crul1

1Department of Sociology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Pub. Date: December 28, 2018

Cite this paper:
Nasser Mohamedhoesein and Maurice Crul. The Relationship between First Year Students’ Interaction, Basic Psychological Needs, and Academic Success. American Journal of Educational Research. 2018; 6(12):1702-1709. doi: 10.12691/education-6-12-17


This study explores the relationship between students’ social and academic integration, basic psychological needs and academic success. By linking the social and academic integration, which is primarily focused on students’ relationships with peers and staff, to their psychological needs, we examine if need support in daily interactions would predict student success in their first year of college. The participants in this survey study, 140 first-year undergraduates, are enrolled in different universities of applied sciences in The Netherlands. The results of path analysis showed that peer interaction (social integration) directly supports students’ need for relatedness as it establishes close social bonds with peers, while at the same time it indirectly, supports students’ formal interaction with the teacher improving their intellectual involvement in the classroom. Most relevant to academic integration is students’ formal interaction with the teacher, which is mediated through autonomy and competence needs and academic success. Though primary support for academic success can be linked to formal teacher interactions, the indirect support through formal peer interactions should not be overlooked. These findings, at the outset, confirm the importance of need-supportive teachers, but they also point out the importance of need support by peers, which is less emphasized by self-determination theory.

social integration academic integration student interaction basic psychological needs self-determination theory academic success

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