Young People's Relation to Academic Study: A Theoretical and Empirical Study of Sixth Form Students to Inform Student-Centred Teaching in Brunei Darussalam

  • Naasirah Abdullah

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Whilst there are numerous studies on young people’s engagement in academic study, the internal relationship between young people and academic study is still unclear. This thesis seeks to explain the relation of young people to their academic study, in the context of Brunei Darussalam, through analysing young people’s motive hierarchy. The research is based on the understanding that young people are faced with multiple contradicting demands from the society, which evolve with their developmental age. The contradicting demands generate conflicts for young people as they participate across the different institutional practices in their everyday lives.The research entailed a semi-participatory research approach, which emphasised young people’s lived experiences, from a first-person perspective. Eight (8) young people aged 16-18 years who are studying for their GCE A Level examinations, played roles as both trained Student Researchers, as well as participants in this research. Data were collected from focus group discussions, annotated photo albums (MyAlbum) and a ‘participant self-generated’ questionnaire (MyQuestionnaire). The focus of the data collection was on the young people’s experiences of conflicts with respect to their academic study and the different agendas in their everyday lives. Intermediary tools were developed to focus the data analysis to identify motive-orientations and their relative importance in the construct of the motive hierarchy of a young person. An initial general model of motive hierarchy was developed from this study too.It is a societal demand for young people in late adolescence to be vocational and career oriented. However this study shows the eight (8) young people are also oriented towards other objects, apart from being future oriented. They can still have a dominant motive-orientation towards intimate personal relations, which usually prevails for early adolescence. Two other motive-orientations have also emerged from this study, i.e. the societal value system and self-comfort related. These different motive-orientations of the young people contradict the societal demands and create conflicts for the young people as they participate in and across the practices. These findings are important in informing intervention programmes to improve young people’s engagement in academic study.
Date of Award11 Sept 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorSeth Chaiklin (Supervisor)


  • Motive
  • Motive Orientation
  • Theory of Activity
  • Cultural Historical Tradition
  • Late Adolescent
  • School Study
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Everyday Practice
  • Motivation
  • Focus Group Discussion
  • Self-Questionnaire
  • Picture Prompt
  • Underlying Internal Theoretical Relation
  • Empirically Grounded Theoretical Model
  • Academic Study
  • Intervention

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