Proactive Personality, Academic Engagement, and Academic Adjustment of University Students
Proactive Personality, Academic Engagement, Academic Adjustment
Many organizational researchers have found that proactivity of organizational newcomers improves their adjustment to the organization (Ashforth et al., 2007). We can expect university studentsí proactivitycan also have positive effects on academic adjustment, but there has been little research (Geertshuis et al., 2014). This study investigated if studentsí proactive personality improves two dimensions ofacademic adjustment (Baker &Siryk, 1986), i.e. motivational dimension (motivational state forlearning) and environmental dimension (satisfaction with the academic environment). In addition, we examined the mediating effects of four dimensions of academic engagement (Fredricks, 2004; Reeve, 2013), i.e. behavioral engagement (getting themselves actively involved in learning), emotional engagement (experiencing positive emotions during academic tasks), cognitive engagement (employing a sophisticated rather than superficial way of learning), and agentic engagement (making contributionstocreate a better learning environment). To explore the relationship between studentsí proactive personality, academic engagement, and academic adjustment, data was collected from 248 university undergraduates in Japan. Results showed that a proactive personality significantly increased motivational adjustment but did not have significant effects on environmental adjustment. Multiple mediator analysis (Preacher & Hayes, 2008) revealed that proactive students employed sophisticated, not superficial, learning strategies and experienced positive emotion, which improved motivational adjustment. In addition, proactive studentsí environmental adjustment was improved by their positive emotion and active communication about what they need for a better academic environment; however, their sophisticated learning strategies had a negative effect on environmental adjustment, because such studious students could be more dissatisfied with their current academic environment. Thus, these effects cancelled each other out, and total effects of proactive personality on environmental adjustment became insignificant.