Eccles, Jacquelynne S. 1944-
Jacquelynne S. Eccles (1944–) is one of the leading educational and developmental psychologists in the world. Her prolific scholarship has focused on gender-role socialization, social and motivational development in family and school contexts, and gender and ethnic identity development. Eccles received her bachelor's degree in social psychology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966, and then taught in the Peace Corps in Ghana from 1966 to 1968. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1974. She was assistant professor of psychology at Smith College (1973–1976), and then moved to the University of Michigan, where she rose through the ranks to full professor between 1976 to 1988. She was professor of psychology at the University of Colorado-Boulder from 1988 to 1992, and then returned to Michigan. As of 2008, she is the McKeachie Collegiate Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. She has won numerous awards for her scholarship from major research societies.
Some of Eccles's research focuses on how children's self-beliefs and values are socialized at home and in school and how these beliefs and values predict young people's choices of activities to pursue and their performance in them. Another major purpose of this line of work is to investigate gender differences in choice and performance, with particular reference to gender differences in participation in math and science education and careers. Eccles and her colleagues, including Carol Kaczala, Judith Meece, Carol Midgley, and Allan Wigfield, developed the expectancy-value theoretical model of motivated choice and performance that provides the theoretical foundation for their work. This model has been highly influential in the field. They and other colleagues (including Pamela Davis-Kean, Constance Flanagan, and Janis Jacobs) have conducted several major longitudinal studies testing this model.
Major conclusions from this work include the following: 1) children's competence beliefs and expectancies for success are the strongest predictors of subsequent performance, and children's achievement values are the strongest predictor of achievement choice, even when previous performance is controlled; 2) gender differences in children's competence beliefs and values indicate that males have more positive beliefs and values for math and sports, and girls for English and music; 3) children's beliefs and values for different academic and non-academic activities decline across the school years, with some variation in the pattern of decline for boys and girls; and 4) parents' beliefs and stereotypes, and children's perceptions of them, predict children's own beliefs and values.
A second major area ofresearch that builds onthis work is Dr. Eccles's investigations of how school environments influence the development of children's competence-related beliefs and values for different activities and their identity development. She has collaborated in this work with Bonnie Barber, Carol Midgley, David Reuman, Rob Roeser, and Arnold Sameroff, among others. Eccles began this work with middle school students, making the compelling case that there is not a good fit between middle school students' developmental stage and the school environments they typically experience. At a time when children are maturing cognitively, desire to have more control over the activities they do, and enjoy interacting with others in learning and other environments, the kinds of school environments they encounter often provide fewer of these opportunities. Eccles initially documented this mismatch in a large scale study of Midwest middle schools. Her study showed that (compared to elementary school teachers) middle school teachers believe they are less effective in teaching their students, have less close relations with them, and provide fewer opportunities for student decision-making. She and her colleagues expanded this work to a large school district in the East that has a majority African American student population. As part of both studies Eccles and her colleagues examined the effects of puberty on teacher-child and parent-child relations. They also included measures of other important psychological factors, such as self-esteem, gender and racial identity, and indicators of psychological well-being and distress. Thus, they extended their expectancy-value model in important ways.
Much of Eccles's research has been longitudinal, and in two of her major studies she and her colleagues followed children into young adulthood. They used the most sophisticated data analytic tools available and were able to provide a clear picture of the development of children's beliefs and values. In a later work Eccles studied how the opportunity structures provided by parents and other socializers and children's involvement in extracurricular activities influence their development, both with respect to their performance and choice and their evolving identities.
See also:Expectancy Value Motivational Theory
Downey, G., Eccles, J. S. & Chatman, C. (2005). Navigating the future: social identity, coping, and life tasks. New York: Russell Sage.
Eccles (Parsons), J. et al. (1983). Expectancies, values and academic behaviors. In J. Spence (Ed.), Achievement and achievement motives (pp.75–146). San Francisco: W. H. Freeman.
Eccles, J. S. (1993). School and family effects on the ontogeny of children's interests, self-perceptions, and activity choice. In J. E. Jacobs (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, 1992: Developmental perspectives on motivation (pp. 145–208). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Eccles, J. S., Barber, B. L., Stone, M., & Hunt, J. (2003). Extracurricular activities and adolescent development. Journal of Social Issues, 59, 865–889.
Eccles, J. S., & Gootman, J. (2002). Community Programs to Promote Youth Development. Washington DC: National Academy Press.
Eccles, J. S., Wigfield, A., & Schiefele, U. (1998). Motivation. In W. Damon (Series Ed.) and N. Eisenberg (Volume Ed.), Handbook of child psychology, (Vol. 3, 5th ed., pp. 1017–1095). New York: Wiley.
Jacobs, J. E., Hyatt, S., Osgood, W. D., Eccles, J. S., & Wigfield, A. (2002). Changes in children's self-competence and values: Gender and domain differences across grades one through twelve. Child Development, 73(2), 509–527.
Mahoney, J. L., Larson, R. W., & Eccles, J. S. (2005). Organized activities as contexts of development: extracurricular activities, after-school and community programs. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Wigfield, A. L., & Eccles, J. S. (2001). Development of Achievement Motivation. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
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