Volume 90, Issue 6 p. e745-e762
Empirical Article

Trajectories of Academic Performance Across Compulsory Schooling and Thriving in Young Adulthood

Martin J. Tomasik

Corresponding Author

Martin J. Tomasik

University of Zurich

University of Witten-Herdecke

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Martin J. Tomasik, Institute for Educational Evaluation, University of Zurich, Wilfriedstrasse 15, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic mail may be sent to [email protected].Search for more papers by this author
Christopher M. Napolitano

Christopher M. Napolitano

University of Zurich

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

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Urs Moser

Urs Moser

University of Zurich

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First published: 22 September 2018
Citations: 8
The Zurich Learning Progress Study was commissioned by the Department of Education in the Canton of Zurich (PI: Urs Moser). We are grateful to Florian Keller and Domenico Angelone who have contributed to running the study in the past, and to Kristina Schmid Callina for her invaluable comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.

Abstract

Thriving is a developmental process that is shaped by previous and current interactions within developmental contexts. We hypothesized that academic performance in the school context will positively predict thriving in young adulthood. Data of = 2,043 students from Zurich were assessed with standardized tests in Grades 1, 3, 6, and 9. Results showed that a stronger increase in academic performance significantly predicted thriving at age 20, even after statistically controlling for various covariates. Further analyses showed that school bonding might represent a mediating link between the academic performance and thriving. We argue that although schools can be considered the most widespread and intensive “youth development program” of sorts, their role for thriving has been largely neglected in developmental science.