Who benefits from mastery-approach and performance-approach goals in college? Students’ social class as a moderator of the link between goals and grade
Although approach forms of achievement goals (mastery and performance goals) have been shown to predict academic achievement in college, recent research underscores that these associations are rather weak and not consistently observed. The present study tests students’ social class (in the present research, generational status) as a moderator of the relationships between both mastery-approach goals and performance-approach goals and final grade. One hundred students (45 first-generation students and 55 continuing-generation students, M age = 18.9, SD = 1.52) answered an achievement goal scale related to one of their classes at the beginning of the year. Their final grade for this class was obtained three months later. As expected, performance-approach goals positively predicted final grade only for upper-class students, while mastery-approach goals tend to do so for lower-class students, supporting the idea that different kinds of motivation could predict students’ achievement depending on their social class.
KeywordsAchievement goals Achievement Social class First generation College
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