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Henneberg, L., Kim, M. H., Chen, X.-Y., & Usher, E. L. (in press). Appalachian high schoolers’ sense of belonging in a residential college preparatory program. Journal of Appalachian Studies, 30(2). 

The importance of a strong sense of belonging at school for academic engagement and performance, particularly for marginalized students, has been robustly demonstrated. However, researchers have not yet thoroughly explored its influence on Appalachian youth. As with other marginalized groups, Appalachian students may have difficulty feeling as though they belong when entering highly selective academic environments. This study investigates factors that Appalachian high schoolers identify as influencing their sense of belonging in a selective residential college preparatory program located outside of Appalachia. 


Kim, M. H., Han, J., Buford, K. N., Osterhage, J. L., & Usher, E. L. (2024). Undergraduate student perceptions of instructor mindset and academic performance: A motivational climate theory perspective. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 77, 102280. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2024.102280 

Academic achievement depends not only on learners’ skill but also the psychological factors that arise during learning, such as the belief that intelligence improves with effort—a growth mindset. In addition to being guided by their own beliefs, students might use information present in their learning environments to imagine what their instructors believe about students’ abilities, and alter their engagement accordingly. The present study applies motivational climate theory to examine the association between individual and shared student perceptions of instructors’ ability mindset on their academic performance.


Kim, M. H., & Sidney, P. G. (2024) Do teacher instructional practices shape children’s academic self-concept and interest in mathematics and science? Evidence from TIMSS 2015. [Registered Report Stage 2] Infant and Child Development, 33(2), e2429. https://doi.org/10.1002/icd.2429

Children possess different beliefs regarding their ability to succeed in math and science, as well as different levels of enjoyment and interest in these topics. These motivational processes are important because they often shape learning-related behaviors which in turn predict academic outcomes, over and above previous performance. But, what are the potential sources of influence that could explain individual differences in children’s academic self-concept and interest in math and science? In this registered report, we adopted a situated expectancy-value theory framework to examine the potential role of teacher instructional practices that emphasize conceptual understanding in enhancing these motivational processes. 

Kim, M. H., & Karr, J. E. (2024). Examining associations between intelligence mindset, mental health symptom severity, and academic self-efficacy and performance. Current Psychology, 43, 1519–1532. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-023-04399-2  

Individuals possess different beliefs regarding the malleability of intelligence, also known as intelligence mindsets. Despite evidence demonstrating a link between a growth mindset of intelligence—the belief that intelligence can develop through effort—and academic achievement, this link has not been closely examined from a mental health perspective. Given the increasing prevalence of mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, among undergraduate students, an important question is whether the well-established link between mental health symptom severity and academic outcomes depends on the intelligence mindset beliefs that individuals possess. A growth mindset of intelligence might buffer the negative impact of anxiety and depression on academic outcomes, whereas a fixed mindset—the belief that intelligence cannot be changed—might exacerbate this negative relationship. The present study examined data collected from 660 undergraduate psychology students in the United States to test whether intelligence mindset beliefs moderated the relationship between mental health symptom severity and various indicators of academic outcomes: academic self-efficacy, GPA, and perceived academic standing. 


Kim, M. H., Buford, K., Ellis, A., Davis-Kean, P. E., Antony, C., Braun, C., Hurst, T., & Todd, J. (2023). A metascience investigation of inclusive, open, and reproducible science practices in research posters at the 2021 SRCD biennial meeting. Child Development. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.14059 

Over the past decade, there has been a growing appreciation of metascience issues in psychological science. Using data collected from 2,615 posters presented at the 2021 biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, this paper examines the use of transparent research practices to increase rigor and reproducibility as well as generalizability through greater inclusivity of diverse samples. Research presented through poster presentations was heavily skewed towards quantitative studies featuring American researchers using Western hemisphere samples. Sharing of data/materials, preregistrations, and replications were uncommon. During a time when governments are increasingly requiring more open practices and access, this research provides an important baseline by which developmental science can benchmark progress towards the goals of greater inclusivity and openness. 


Morrison, F. J., Grammer, J. K., Gehring, W. J., Weixler, L. B., & Kim, M. H. (2023). Role of self-regulation in the transition to school. In K. Pugh, C. Perfetti, S. Nag, & L. Verhoaven (Eds.), Global variation in literacy development (pp. 316–332). Cambridge University Press.

With emphasis on the context of the United States (see also Kieffer & Vukovic, Chapter 2 in this volume), this chapter focuses on four central questions about self-regulation, a skill set essential to learning. First, how have scientists conceptualized self-regulation? As will be seen, there are multiple perspectives on the labeling of the term as well as on its measurement. Second, what are the extent and nature of individual differences in self-regulation during the transition to school? Third, what is the unique impact of self-regulation on early literacy and later academic achievement? Finally, can self-regulation be modified by appropriate environmental stimulation, especially in the school environment?


Patel, N. R., Kim, M. H., & Karr, J. E. (2023). Reliable change in college coursework self-efficacy. Modern Psychological Studies, 29(1), 17. https://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol29/iss1/17  

This study aimed to examine the test-retest reliability of the College Self-Efficacy Inventory-Coursework subscale (CSEI-C) and calculate cutoffs for determining reliable change. A sample of 39 college students from a U.S. university (M=19.0±1.0 years old, 84.6% women, 64.1% White) completed the CSEI-C twice (test-retest interval: M=55.4±12.4 days). The CSEI-C had good test-retest reliability, per the intraclass correlation (ICC=.85). The cutoffs of detecting reliable change were ±.91, ±1.12, and ±1.44 for 70%, 80%, and 90% confidence intervals, respectively. College students often experience mental health problems, and those presenting for psychotherapy may experience concurrent reductions in academic self-efficacy. Clinicians could use the CSEI-C during treatment to track academic self-efficacy and determine whether treatment improves confidence in coursework – a meaningful functional outcome for college students.

Kim, M. H. (2023). A bioecological perspective on mindset. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 102173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2023.102173

Mindset—beliefs about the malleability of intelligence—has been traditionally conceptualized as an individual-level construct. The present study adapts, proposes, and applies a bioecological model to examine how learners perceive the intelligence mindset beliefs possessed by important socializing agents—parents, teachers, and peers—and whether and how these perceived mindset beliefs shape individuals’ own understanding of intelligence and intelligence mindset. 

Kim, M. H., Bousselot, T. E, & Ahmed, S. F. (2021). Executive functions and science achievement during the five-to-seven-year shift. Developmental Psychology, 57(12), 2119–2133. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0001261 

Executive functions (EF) are domain-general cognitive skills that predict foundational academic skills such as literacy and numeracy. However, less is known about the relation between EFs and science achievement. The nature of this relation might be explained by the theory of mutualism, which states that development is the result of complex and interacting processes, in which growth in one domain influences growth in another domain. The present study examined the bidirectional associations between science achievement and children’s cognitive flexibility and working memory in a nationally representative sample of children in the United States (ECLS-K: 2011; N = 18,174). 

Kim, M. H., Anderson, R. C., DeRosia, N., Madison, E., & Husman, J. (2021). There are two I’s in motivation: Interpersonal dimensions of science self-efficacy among racially diverse adolescent youth. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 66, 101989. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2021.101989 

With the increased growth of career opportunities in STEM fields, educators and policymakers have sought to better understand the nature and development of students’ motivation to pursue science academic and career pathways successfully. However, our understanding of motivational constructs such as self-efficacy has mostly been based on studies of predominantly White samples, neglecting the perspectives and experiences of students from historically marginalized groups underrepresented in STEM academic and career pathways. In the present study, we examined science motivation in six high school students of color who participated in a brief, near peer mentoring program with undergraduate mentors of color. 

Kim, M. H., Ahmed, S. F., & Morrison, F. J. (2021). The effects of kindergarten and first grade schooling on executive function and academic skill development: Evidence from a school cutoff design. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 607973. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.607973 

Early executive function (EF) skills reliably predict school readiness and future academic success. While children’s skills undergo rapid development during the transition to formal schooling, it remains unclear the extent to which schooling exerts a unique influence on the accelerated development of EF and academic skills during the early years of schooling. In the present study, a quasi-experimental technique known as the school cutoff design was used to examine whether same-aged children who made versus missed the age cutoff for school entry significantly differed on EF, reading, and math outcomes. 

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