Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Stage-Environment Fit Theory
Robert W. Roeser
In the broadest interpretation, stage-environment fit theory (SEF theory) posits that developmentally appropriate or developmentally regressive shifts in the nature of social and learning opportunities in the home and school environments that young people experience as they develop during adolescence may help in explaining individual differences in the quality and course of their academic motivation, educational achievement, and social-emotional well-being during these years. To the extent that adolescents' home or school environments do not change and develop in ways that “fit” with their changing (developmental) capabilities and needs, SEF theory predicts that a “person-environment mismatch” develops over time. This mismatch “shows up” as a pattern of declining motivation, learning, and well-being over time in affected individuals. On the other hand, to the extent that adolescents' home and school environments change in “developmentally appropriate ways” that are responsive to their emerging capabilities and needs, SEF theory predicts (a) a reduction in ...