Skip to main content

The role of psychological inflexibility in adolescent satisfaction with the educational track and school dropout intentions (Pages 141-148)

Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS)

Volume 24, April 2022, Pages 141-148


Sara Liinamaa, Mira-Sofia Taulavuori, Päivi Lappalainen, Anne Puolakanaho, Raimo Lappalainen, Noona Kiuru


This study aimed to obtain novel understanding of the associations between psychological inflexibility and adolescents' engagement with upper secondary studies. The participants were 885 Finnish adolescents (mean age 15.74 at the outset) whose psychological inflexibility was measured with the short form of the Acceptance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth (AFQ-Y8) in the fall of the final (ninth) grade of basic education. School engagement was measured as satisfaction with the educational track and as school dropout intentions, and they were measured twice in the first study year after the transition to upper secondary education. The results showed that high psychological inflexibility in the ninth grade was associated with lower levels of school satisfaction and higher levels of dropout intentions at the beginning of upper secondary education. Furthermore, high psychological inflexibility predicted increased dropout intentions during the first year of upper secondary studies for adolescents in upper secondary general education (i.e., academic track), but not for students in upper secondary vocational education (i.e., vocational track). Generally, dropout intentions increased during the first study year for students on academic as well as vocational tracks, whereas satisfaction with the educational track decreased only among students in the vocational track. Overall, our results suggest that psychological inflexibility plays an important role in adolescents' engagement with upper secondary studies. The results imply that by practicing psychological flexibility skills it may also be possible to promote adolescents’ school engagement.

This article is restricted to ACBS members. Please join or login with your ACBS account.