Date of Completion


Embargo Period



School climate, Self-Determination, Motivation, GPA, Academic Competence, Teacher Student Relationships, Bullying, Relatedness, Student Relationships, Intrinsic Motivation, Amotivation

Major Advisor

Sandra M. Chafouleas

Associate Advisor

Betsy McCoach

Associate Advisor

Nicholas Gelbar

Field of Study

Educational Psychology


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


The purpose of this study was to explore connections among student perceptions of specific school climate-factors, self-determined academic motivation, and academic outcomes in a sample of middle and high school students (sixth through eleventh grade). Structural equation modeling techniques were used to identify meaningful grade specific associations within a sample of 2,463 students. The school climate factors of perceived teacher support, peer support, and school bullying emerged as the most salient school climate-based predictors of academic motivation factors. Perceived teacher support positively predicted academic competence and relatedness, whereas school bullying negatively predicted relatedness. Student academic competence, in turn, was found to negatively predict amotivation and to positively predict of GPA, after controlling for previous standardized test scores. Results were found to be consistent across grades. The implications of these findings in regards to school stakeholder practices and future research directions within the school climate and academic motivation literature bases are discussed.