Students’ views on the effectiveness of motivational interviewing for challenging disaffection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Emerging evidence suggests motivational interviewing (MI) is an effective intervention for supporting disaffected students. However, previous literature has failed to establish students’ views on MI. In the present study, three students took part in an individual MI intervention, delivered by three educational psychologists (EPs). Self-report measures of school-based motivation and semi-structured interviews were used to obtain student views, post-intervention and at three month follow-up. EP interview data were also used to contextualise findings from student interviews. Qualitative findings indicated that students were generally enthusiastic about the intervention and perceived some positive impact on behaviour. However, these views were not consistent with questionnaire responses and two of the pupils experienced exclusions around the time of the intervention. The implications of these ambiguous findings are discussed, in relation to contextual factors that are likely to have influenced the effectiveness of the interventions.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-205
Number of pages7
JournalEducational Psychology in Practice
Issue number2
Early online date1 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017