Strengths use and deficit improvement: the relationship with engagement and fit with study course amongst first-year students
Van Niekerk, Gabrielle
De Beer Leon T.
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This study sought to test a model of students' proactive behaviour to use their strengths and improve their deficits and how this relates with their self-reported perceptions of their fit with a study course and engagement. Participants were 692 first-year students from a higher education institution in South Africa (females = 60.3%; blacks = 71.3%; mean age = 19.71; SD = 1.93). They completed measures of strengths use, deficit improvement, perceptions of fit with a study course and engagement. Structural equation modelling was utilised to examine the relationship between students' strengths use and deficit improvement, perceptions of fit with a study course and student engagement. In addition, the bootstrapping method was used to identify possible mediating effects of fit with a study course. The results indicated that only deficit improvement showed a significant relationship with engagement. Perceptions of fit with a study course mediated the relationship between students' strengths use and deficit improvement.