PurposeTo explore - on an international level - the relationship between work-integrated learning (WIL) and several psychological attributes (i.e., hope, procrastination, self-concept, self-efficacy, motivation, and study skills) believed to be important for a successful transition to the labour market.
Design/methodology/approachA between-subjects design was used with participants in one of two groups: WIL and non-WIL. The design provided data on the effects of the independent variable (WIL) on a number of dependent variables (attributes) across four countries. Data were collected via an online survey and analyzed using a series of ANOVAs and MANOVAs.
FindingsWIL and non-WIL students in the four countries shared several attributes - however - significant differences also emerged. WIL compared to non-WIL students compared reported stronger math and problem solving self-concepts, yet weaker effort regulation and perceived critical thinking skills. WIL students were more extrinsically motivated than their non-WIL peers in three of the four countries. Female students in WIL reported being the most anxious compared to other students.
Research limitations/implicationsSelf-reports to measure psychological attributes and the small sample sizes at some of the institutions are limitations.
Originality/valueThe positive relationship between participation in WIL and several aspects of positive self-concept are provided. In addition, data is provided indicating that overall there are more similarities than differences between WIL and non-WIL students on a number of psychological outcomes. Data also suggests that females who participate in WIL may be at risk for anxiety problems.
2016. Vol. 6, no 1, 20-34 p.