Young Adolescents' Perceptions of Teachers' and Peers' Goals as Predictors of Social and Academic Goal Pursuit


Kathryn R. Wentzel, University of Maryland, Department of Human Development, College Park, MD 20742, USA. Email:


Young Mexican American adolescents' perceptions of socially derived goals of teachers and peers were examined as predictors of their pursuit of social goals (to be prosocial and responsible) and academic goals (to learn and to perform well), while controlling for perceived parental goals. The role of perceived emotional caring in mediating relations between socially derived goals and goal pursuit also was examined. Results of multiple regression analyses indicated that social and academic expectations from peers were the most consistent positive predictors of students' social and academic goals; findings indicated significant relations within-domain (e.g. social expectations predicted social goal pursuit) as well as across-domain (e.g. social expectations predicted academic goal pursuit). Mediating effects were also found such that perceived caring from teachers and peers partly explained relations between socially derived goals and students' academic and social goal pursuits.