Advertisement

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 1131–1145 | Cite as

The Development of Motivation and Amotivation to Study and Work across Age-Graded Transitions in Adolescence and Young Adulthood

  • Jennifer SymondsEmail author
  • Ingrid Schoon
  • Jacquelynne Eccles
  • Katariina Salmela-Aro
Empirical Research

Abstract

People’s motivation to engage in studying and working is an important precursor of participation and attainment. However, little is known about how motivation and the lack of motivation develops normatively across adolescence and young adulthood. Furthermore, there is no comparison of motivation and amotivation development across sequential age-graded transitions such as the mid-schooling transition in adolescence and the school-to-work transition in young adulthood. The current study explored trajectories of motivation and amotivation development in Finland, using piecewise growth curve modelling to analyze five waves of data (age 15–22 years) from a sample of 878 youth (52% male). Indicators of amotivation (disinterest, futility and inertia) decreased, whilst the indicator of motivation (attainment value) increased across both transitions. Reductions in disinterest and inertia were steeper for youth transferring into vocational education at the mid-schooling transition and for youth transferring from an academic track to higher education at the school-to-work transition. Amotivation and motivation shifted most at the school-to-work transition, signaling the importance of this period for motivation development. Overall, the results suggest that young people became more motivated and less amotivated as they aged from adolescence through young adulthood, in line with normative maturational and gradual social changes and transfer into increasingly personalized environments.

Keywords

Motivation Amotivation Task-value School transition School-to-work transition 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The young people in the FinEdu study and their families are acknowledged for their time and energy in participating in the multiple waves of data collection. All researchers involved in the design, administration and data management for the FinEdu study are likewise thanked for their contributions.

Authors’ Contributions

J.S. conceived of the study, performed the statistical analyses and drafted the manuscript. I.S. advised on the theoretical perspective, methodology and discussion. J.E. advised on the theoretical perspective, methodology and discussion. K.S-A.ro coordinated the data collection, provided the data for analysis, and advised on the theoretical perspective, methodology and discussion. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding

This work was supported by the Jacobs Foundation (Pathways to Adulthood) and the Academy of Finland.

Data Sharing and Declaration

The datasets analyzed during the current study are not currently available publicly. Interested researchers may contact the last author to inquire about the data.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The study received ethical approval from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

Informed Consent

Parents gave opt-out consent for their children to participate in the study.

References

  1. Archambault, I., Eccles, J. S., & Vida, M. N. (2010). Ability self-concepts and subjective value in literacy: joint trajectories from grades 1 through 12. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(4), 804–816.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0021075.Google Scholar
  2. Campbell, A., Walker, J., & Farrell, G. (2003). Confirmatory factor analysis of the GHQ-12: can I see that again? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 37(4), 475–483.  https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1440-1614.2003.01208.Google Scholar
  3. Cheon, S. H., & Reeve, J. (2015). A classroom-based intervention to help teachers decrease students’ amotivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 40, 99–111.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2014.06.004.Google Scholar
  4. De Wit, D. J., Karioja, K., Rye, B. J., & Shain, M. (2011). Perceptions of declining classmate and teacher support following the transition to high school: potential correlates of increasing student mental health difficulties. Psychology in the Schools, 48(6), 556–572.  https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.20576.Google Scholar
  5. Eccles, J. S. (2004). Schools, academic motivation and stage-environment fit. In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of Adolescent Psychology (University of Michigan edn., Vol. 2, pp. 5.). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  6. Eccles, J. S., & Wigfield, A. (1995). In the mind of the actor: the structure of adolescents’ achievement task-values and expectancy related beliefs. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21(3), 215–225.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167295213003.Google Scholar
  7. Eccles, J. S., Fredricks, J., & Baay, P. (2015). Expectancies, values, identities, and self-regulation. In G. Oettingen & P. M. Gollwitzer (Eds.), Self-regulation in adolescence (pp. 30–56). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Gaspard, H., Dicke, A.-L., Flunger, B., Schreier, B., Häfner, I., Trautwein, U., & Nagengast, B. (2015). More value through greater differentiation: gender differences in value beliefs about math. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107(3), 663–677.  https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000003.Google Scholar
  9. Gaspard, H., Wigfield, A., Jiang, Y., Nagengast, B., Trautwein, U., & Marsh, H. W. (2018). Dimensional comparisons: how academic track students’ achievements are related to their expectancy and value beliefs across multiple domains. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 52, 1–14.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2017.10.003.Google Scholar
  10. Harter, S. (2006). The self. In N. Eisenberg (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Social, emotional, and personality development. (6th edn., Vol. 3, pp. 505–570). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. Holopainen, L., & Savolainen, H. (2005). Erityisopetus ja oppimisvaikeudet. In E. Korkeakoski (Ed.), Koulutuksen perusturva ja oppimisen tuki perusopetuksessa. Osaraportti, (Vol 3, pp. 58–72). Jyväskylä, Finland: Koulutuksen arviointineuvosto.Google Scholar
  12. Jacobs, J. E., Lanza, S., Osgood, D. W., Eccles, J. S., & Wigfield, A. (2002). Changes in children’s self-competence and values: gender and domain differences across grades one through twelve. Child Development, 73(2), 509–527.Google Scholar
  13. Kwong, A. S. F., Manley, D., Timpson, N. J., Pearson, R. M., Heron, J., Sallis, H., Stergiakouli, E., Davis, O. & Leckie, G. (2019). Identifying critical points of trajectories of depressive symptoms from childhood to young adulthood. Journal of Youth and Adolescence.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-018-0976-5.
  14. Kyndt, E., Coertjens, L., van Daal, T., Donche, V., Gijbels, D., & Van Petegem, P. (2015). The development of students’ motivation in the transition from secondary to higher education: a longitudinal study. Learning and Individual Differences, 39(1), 114–123.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2015.03.001.Google Scholar
  15. Lent, R. W., & Brown, S. D. (2013). Social cognitive model of career self-management: toward a unifying view of adaptive career behavior across the life span. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 60(4), 557.Google Scholar
  16. Lechner, C. M., Sortheix, F. M., Göllner, R., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2017). The development of work values during the transition to adulthood: a two-country study. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 99, 52–65.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2016.12.004.Google Scholar
  17. Marshall, A. E., & Butler, K. (2015). School-to-work transitions in emerging adulthood. In J. J. Arnett (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Emerging Adulthood (pp. 316–333). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Niemivirta, M. (2002). Motivation and performance in context: the influence of goal orientations and instructional setting on situational appraisals and task performance. Psychologica, 45(4), 250–270.  https://doi.org/10.2117/psysoc.2002.250.Google Scholar
  19. Ning, L., & Luo, W. (2017). Specifying turning point in piecewise growth curve models: challenges and solutions. Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, 3(1), 1–19.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fams.2017.00019.Google Scholar
  20. Orth, U., Erol, R. Y., & Luciano, E. C. (2018). Development of self-esteem from age 4 to 94 years: a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Psychological Bulletin, 144(10), 1045–1080.  https://doi.org/10.1037/bul0000161.Google Scholar
  21. Roberts, B. W., Walton, K. E., & Viechtbauer, W. (2006). Patterns of mean-level change in personality traits across the life course: a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Psychological Bulletin, 132(1), 1–25.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.132.1.1.Google Scholar
  22. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68–78.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.68.Google Scholar
  23. Salmela-Aro, K. (2017). Dark and bright sides of thriving—school burnout and engagement in the Finnish context. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 14(3), 337–349.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17405629.2016.1207517.Google Scholar
  24. Salmela-Aro, K., Aunola, K., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2007). Personal goals during emerging adulthood: a 10-year follow up. Journal of Adolescent Research, 22(6), 690–715.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0743558407303978.Google Scholar
  25. Salmela-Aro, K., Kiuru, N., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2008). The role of educational track in adolescents’ school burnout: a longitudinal study. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 78(4), 663–689.  https://doi.org/10.1348/000709908X281628.Google Scholar
  26. Salmela-Aro, K., Kiuru, N., Leskinen, E., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2009). School burnout inventory (SBI): reliability and validity. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 25(1), 48–57.Google Scholar
  27. Salmela-Aro, K., & Upadyaya, K. (2017). Co-development of educational aspirations and academic burnout from adolescence to adulthood in Finland. Research in Human Development, 14(2), 106–121.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15427609.2017.1305809.Google Scholar
  28. Shen, B., Li, W., Sun, H., & Rukavina, P. (2010). The influence of inadequate teacher-to-student social support on amotivation of physical education students. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 29(4), 417–432.  https://doi.org/10.1123/jtpe.29.4.417.Google Scholar
  29. Schoon, I. & Silbereisen, R. K. (Eds.) (2017). Pathways to adulthood: educational opportunities, motivation and attainment in times of social change. London: IOE Press.Google Scholar
  30. Shernoff, D. J., Kelly, S., Tonks, S. M., Anderson, B., Cavanagh, R. F., Sinha, S., & Abdi, B. (2016). Student engagement as a function of environmental complexity in high school classrooms. Learning and Instruction.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2015.12.003.
  31. Skinner, E. A., Kindermann, T. A., Connell, J. P., & Wellborn, J. G. (2009). Engagement as an organizational construct in the dynamics of motivational development. In K. Wentzel & A. Wigfield (Eds.), Handbook of motivation in school (pp. 223–245). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Sortheix, F. M., Dietrich, J., Chow, A., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2013). The role of career values for work engagement during the transition to working life. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 83(3), 466–475.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2013.07.003.Google Scholar
  33. Symonds, J. (2015). Understanding school transition: what happens to children and how to help them. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. Symonds, J., Dietrich, J., Chow, A., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2016). Mental health improves after transition from comprehensive school to vocational education or employment in England: A national cohort study. Developmental Psychology, 52(4), 652–665.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0040118.Google Scholar
  35. Symonds, J., & Hargreaves, L. (2016). Emotional and motivational engagement at school transition: a qualitative stage-environment fit study. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 36(1), 54–85.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0272431614556348.Google Scholar
  36. Symonds, J. E., & Galton, M. (2014). Moving to the next school at age 10–14 years: an international review of psychological development at school transition. Review of Education, 2(1), 1–27.  https://doi.org/10.1002/rev3.3021.Google Scholar
  37. Toguchi Swartz, T., & Bengston O’Brien, K. (2017). Intergenerational support during the transition to adulthood. In A. Furlong (Ed.), Routledge handbook of youth and young adulthood (pp. 205–212). Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  38. Vasalampi, K., Kiuru, N., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2018). The role of a supportive interpersonal environment and education-related goal motivation during the transition beyond upper secondary education. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 55, 110–119.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2018.09.001.Google Scholar
  39. Virtanen, T. E., Vasalampi, K., Torppa, M., Lerkkanen, M. K., & Nurmi, J. E. (2019). Changes in students’ psychological well-being during transition from primary school to lower secondary school: a person-centered approach. Learning and Individual Differences, 69, 138–149.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2018.12.001.Google Scholar
  40. Wang, M.-T., Chow, A., Degol, J. L., & Eccles, J. S. (2017). Does everyone’s motivational beliefs about physical science decline in secondary school?: heterogeneity of adolescents’ achievement motivation trajectories in physics and chemistry. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46(8), 1821–1838.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-016-0620-1.Google Scholar
  41. Wang, M.-T., Chow, A., & Amemiya, J. (2017). Who wants to play? Sport motivation trajectories, sport participation, and the development of depressive symptoms. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46(9), 1982–1998.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-017-0649-9.Google Scholar
  42. Widaman, K. F., Ferrer, E., & Conger, R. D. (2010). Factorial invariance within longitudinal structural equation models: measuring the same construct across time. Child Development Perspectives, 4(1), 10–18.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1750-8606.2009.00110.x.Google Scholar
  43. Watt, H. M. (2004). Development of adolescents’ self‐perceptions, values, and task perceptions according to gender and domain in 7th‐ through 11th‐grade Australian students. Child Development, 75, 1556–1574.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2004.00757.x.Google Scholar
  44. Yli-Piipari, S., Jaakkola, T., Liukkonen, J., & Nurmi, J. E. (2013). The effect of physical education students’ beliefs and values on their physical activity: a growth mixture modelling approach. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 11(1), 70–86.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1612197X.2012.731191.Google Scholar
  45. Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J., Chipuer, H. M., Hanish, M., Creed, P. A., & McGregor, L. (2006). Relationships at school and stage-environment fit as resources for adolescent engagement and achievement. Journal of Adolescence, 29, 911–933.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.Institute of EducationUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.School of EducationUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  4. 4.Educational SciencesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

Personalised recommendations