Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Differences in students’ school motivation: A latent class modelling approach

Abstract

In this study, we investigated the school motivation of 7,257 9th grade students in 80 secondary schools across the Netherlands. Using a multiple goal perspective, four motivation dimensions were included: performance, mastery, extrinsic, and social motivation. Our first aim was to identify distinct motivation profiles within our sample, using the four motivation dimensions in a latent class analysis. Our second aim was to investigate the relationships between students’ school motivation profiles and several educational outcomes (school commitment, academic self-efficacy, and academic achievement). The 6-cluster solution model best fitted the data. We found two clusters of students with consistent response patterns across all four motivation scales (well above and well below the average scores, respectively), two clusters of which one showed relatively high scores on mastery and social motivation and the other on performance and extrinsic motivation, and two clusters with extremely low scores on performance motivation and to a lesser extent on extrinsic motivation. The results revealed notable differences in school commitment and academic self-efficacy across the six clusters, but not with regard to academic achievement.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    Many researchers use the term ‘goals’ instead of ‘goal orientations’, whereas their operationalization of the construct is, in our view, more in line with the broader notion of goal orientations rather than striving for particular achievement goals. We therefore chose to use the term ‘goal orientations’ throughout the manuscript whenever this broader notion is measured. The differences between the two terms will be outlined further in the theoretical framework.

  2. 2.

    Originally, 33 items were used, but the translation of one item was ambiguous, thus this item was excluded from the analyses.

  3. 3.

    In the analyses throughout the manuscript Bonferroni corrections were applied to the alpha level of .001 based on the number of computed tests.

  4. 4.

    Technically, means of different scales cannot be compared, as the scales are different (i.e., the metric is arbitrary). Nevertheless, we decided to report paired-samples t test results for ease of interpretation of the differences between the average scale scores.

References

  1. Ali, J., & McInerney, D. M. (2004). Multidimensional assessment of school motivation. Paper presented at the 3rd SELF Research Conference, Berlin, Germany.

  2. Anderman, L. H., & Anderman, E. M. (1999). Social predictors of changes in students’ achievement goal orientations. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 21–37.

  3. Anderman, E. M., Austin, C. C., & Johnson, D. M. (2002). The development of goal orientation. In A. Wigfield & J. S. Eccles (Eds.), Development of achievement motivation (pp. 197–220). San Diego: Academic Press.

  4. Barron, K. E., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2001). Achievement goals and optimal motivation: Testing multiple goal models. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 706–722.

  5. Bergman, L. R., & Magnusson, D. (1997). A person-oriented approach in research and developmental psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, 9, 291–319.

  6. Boekaerts, M., De Koning, E., & Vedder, P. (2006). Goal-directed behavior and contextual factors in the classroom: An innovative approach to the study of multiple goals. Educational Psychologist, 41, 33–51.

  7. Brophy, J. (2004). Motivating students to learn. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

  8. Button, S. B., Mathieu, J. E., & Zajac, D. M. (1996). Goal orientation in organizational research: A conceptual and empirical foundation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 67, 26–48.

  9. Chan, K. W., & Lai, P. Y. (2006). Revisiting the trichotomous achievement goal framework for Hong Kong secondary students: A structural model analysis. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 16, 11–22.

  10. Collins, L. M., & Lanza, S. T. (2010). Latent class and latent transition analysis: With applications in the social, behavioral, and health sciences. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.

  11. Coutinho, S. A., & Neuman, G. (2008). A model of metacognition, achievement goal orientation, learning style and self-efficacy. Learning Environments Research, 11, 131–151.

  12. Covington, M. V. (2000). Goal theory, motivation, and school achievement: An integrative review. Annual Review of Psychology, 51, 171–200.

  13. Crocetti, E., Rubini, M., & Meeus, W. (2008). Capturing the dynamics of identity formation in various ethnic groups. Development and validation of a three-dimensional model. Journal of Adolescence, 31, 207–222.

  14. Deci, E. L., & Koestner, R. (1999). A meta-analytic review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 627–668.

  15. Deci, E. L., & Koestner, R. (2001). Extrinsic rewards and intrinsic motivation in education: Reconsidered once again. Review of Educational Research, 71, 1–27.

  16. Driessen, G., Mulder, L., Ledoux, G., Roeleveld, J., & Van der Veen, I. (2009). Cohortonderzoek COOL5-18. Technisch rapport basisonderwijs, eerste meting 2007/08 [Cohort study COOL5-18. Technical report primary education, first wave 2007/08]. Nijmegen/Amsterdam, the Netherlands: ITS/SCO-Kohnstamm.

  17. Dweck, C. S. (1986). Motivational processes affecting learning. American Psychologist, 41, 1040–1048.

  18. Elliot, A. J., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (1996). Approach and avoidance achievement goals and intrinsic motivation: A mediational analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 461–475.

  19. Elliot, A. J. (1999). Approach and avoidance motivation and achievement goals. Educational Psychologist, 34, 169–189.

  20. Elliot, A. J., & McGregor, H. A. (2001). A 2x2 achievement goal framework. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 501–519.

  21. Elliot, A. J., & Thrash, T. M. (2001). Achievement goals and the hierarchical model of achievement motivation. Educational Psychology Review, 13, 139–156.

  22. Elliot, A. J., Gable, S. L., & Mapes, R. R. (2006). Approach and avoidance motivation in the social domain. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 378–391.

  23. Elliot, A. J., & Murayama, K. (2008). On the measurement of achievement goals: Critique, illustration, and application. The Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 613–828.

  24. Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes. Human Relations, 7, 117–140.

  25. Fortunato, V. J., & Goldblatt, A. M. (2006). An examination of goal orientation profiles using cluster analysis and their relationships with dispositional characteristics and motivational response patterns. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 36, 2150–2183.

  26. Fredricks, J. A., Blumenfeld, P. C., & Paris, A. H. (2004). School engagement: Potential of the concept, state of evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74, 59–109.

  27. Fryer, J. W., & Elliot, A. J. (2007). Stability and change in achievement goals. The Journal of Educational Psychology, 99, 700–714.

  28. Giota, J. (2002). Adolescents’ goal orientations and academic achievement: Long-term relations and gender differences. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 46, 349–371.

  29. Giota, J. (2010). Multidimensional and hierarchical assessment of adolescents’ motivation in school. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 54, 83–97.

  30. Gonida, E. N., Voulala, K., & Kiosseoglou, G. (2009). Students’ achievement goal orientations and their behavioral and emotional engagement: Co-examining the role of perceived school goal structures and parent goals during adolescence. Learning and Individual Differences, 19, 53–60.

  31. Grant, H., & Dweck, C. S. (2003). Clarifying achievement goals and their impact. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 541–553.

  32. Harackiewicz, J. M., Barron, K. E., Tauer, J. M., & Elliot, A. J. (2002). Predicting success in college: A longitudinal study of achievement goals and ability measures as predictors of interest and performance from freshman year through graduation. The Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 562–575.

  33. Horst, S. J., Finney, S. J., & Barron, K. E. (2007). Moving beyond academic achievement goal measures: A study of social achievement goals. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 32, 667–698.

  34. Huang, C. (2012). Discriminant and criterion-related validity of achievement goals in predicting academic achievement: A meta-analysis. The Journal of Educational Psychology, 104, 48–74.

  35. Hulleman, C. S., Schrager, S. M., Bodmann, S. M., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2010). A meta-analytic review of achievement goal measures: Different labels for the same constructs or different constructs with similar labels? Psychological Bulletin, 136, 422–449.

  36. King, R. B., & McInerney, D. M. (2012). Including social goals in achievement motivation research: Examples from the Philippines. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, Unit 5. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/orpc/vol5/iss3/4.

  37. King, R. B., McInerney, D. M., & Watkins, D. A. (2010). Can social goals enrich our understanding of students’ motivational goals? Journal of Psychology in Chinese Societies, 11, 1–16.

  38. Lee, J. Q., McInerney, D. M., Liem, G. A. D., & Ortiga, Y. P. (2010). The relationship between future goals and achievement goal orientations: An intrinsic-extrinsic motivation perspective. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 35, 264–279.

  39. Levy-Tossman, I., Kaplan, A., & Assor, A. (2007). Academic goal orientations, multiple goal profiles, and friendship intimacy among early adolescents. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 32, 231–252.

  40. Liem, A. D., Lau, S., & Nie, Y. (2008). The role of self-efficacy, task value, and achievement goals in predicting learning strategies, task disengagement, peer relationship, and achievement outcome. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 33, 486–512.

  41. Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., Tyson, D. F., & Patall, E. A. (2008). When are achievement goal orientations beneficial for academic achievement? A closer look at main effects and moderating factors. International Review of Social Psychology, 21, 19–70.

  42. Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., Middleton, M. J., Ciani, K. D., Easter, M. A., O’Keef, P. A., & Zusho, A. (2012). The strength of the relation between performance-approach and performance-avoidance goal orientations: Theoretical, methodological, and instructional implications. Educational Psychologist, 47, 281–301.

  43. Lukočiené, O., Varriale, R., & Vermunt, J. K. (2010). The simultaneous decision(s) about the number of lower- and higher-level classes in multilevel latent class analysis. Sociological Methodology, 40, 247–284.

  44. Maehr, M. L. (1984). Meaning and motivation: Toward a theory of personal investment. In C. Ames & R. Ames (Eds.), Research on motivation in education (Vol. 1, pp. 115–144). New York: Academic Press.

  45. Martin, A. J., & Dowson, M. (2009). Interpersonal relationships, motivation, engagement, and achievement: Yields for theory, current issues, and educational practice. Review of Educational Research, 79, 327–365.

  46. McInerney, D. M. (2008). Personal investment, culture and learning: Insights into school achievement across Anglo, Aboriginal, Asian and Lebanese students in Australia. International Journal of Psychology, 43, 870–879.

  47. McInerney, D. M., & Ali, J. (2006). Multidimensional and hierarchical assessment of school motivation: Cross-cultural validation. Educational Psychology, 26, 595–612.

  48. McInerney, D. M., Dowson, M., & Yeung, A. S. (2005). Facilitating conditions for school motivation: Construct validity and applicability. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 65, 1046–1066.

  49. McInerney, D. M., Marsh, H. W., & Yeung, A. S. (2003). Toward a hierarchical goal theory model of school motivation. Journal of Applied Measurement, 4, 335–357.

  50. Meece, J. L., & Holt, K. (1993). A pattern analysis of students’ achievement goals. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85, 582–590.

  51. Meece, J. L., Anderman, E. M., & Anderman, L. H. (2006). Classroom goal structures, student motivation, and academic achievement. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 487–503.

  52. Midgley, C., Maehr, M. L., Hruda, L. Z., Anderman, E., Anderman, L., Freeman, K. E., et al. (2000). Manual for the patterns of adaptive learning scales (PALS). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.

  53. Murayama, K., & Elliot, A. J. (2009). The joint influence of personal achievement goals and classroom goal structures on achievement-relevant outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 432–447.

  54. Pajares, F., Britner, S. L., & Valiante, G. (2000). Relation between achievement goals and self-beliefs of middle school students in writing and science. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 406–422.

  55. Pastor, D. A., Barron, K. E., Miller, B. J., & Davis, S. L. (2007). A latent profile analysis of college students’ achievement goal orientation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 32, 8–47.

  56. Patrick, H., & Hicks, L. (1997). Relations of perceived social efficacy and social goal pursuit to self-efficacy for academic work. Journal of Early Adolescence, 17, 109–128.

  57. Pintrich, P. R. (2000). An achievement goal theory perspective on issues in motivation terminology, theory, and research. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 92–104.

  58. Roeser, R. W., Midgley, C., & Urdan, T. C. (1996). Perceptions of the school psychological environment and early adolescents’ behavioral functioning in school: The mediating role of goals and belonging. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 408–422.

  59. Roussel, P., Elliot, A. J., & Feltman, R. (2011). The influence of achievement goals and social goals on help-seeking from peers in an academic context. Learning and Instruction, 21, 394–403.

  60. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68–78.

  61. Ryan, A. M., & Shim, S. S. (2008). An exploration of young adolescents’ social achievement goals and social adjustment in middle school. The Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 672–687.

  62. Schunk, D. H., Pintrich, P. R., & Meece, J. L. (2008). Motivation in education: Theory, research, and applications (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

  63. Senko, C., Hulleman, C. S., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2011). Achievement goal theory at the crossroads: Controversies, current challenges, and new directions. Educational Psychologist, 46, 26–47.

  64. Tapola, A., & Niemivirta, M. (2008). The role of achievement goal orientations in students’ perceptions of and preferences for classroom environment. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 78, 291–312.

  65. Tuominen-Soini, H., Salmela-Aro, K., & Niemivirta, M. (2011). Stability and change in achievement goal orientations: A person-centered approach. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 36, 82–100.

  66. Urdan, T. C., & Maehr, M. L. (1995). Beyond a two-goal theory of motivation and achievement: A case for social goals. Review of Educational Research, 65, 213–243.

  67. Van Yperen, N. W. (2006). A novel approach to assessing achievement goals in the context of the 2 x 2 framework: Identifying distinct profiles of individuals with different dominant achievement goals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 1432–1445.

  68. Vermunt, J. K. (2008). Latent class and finite mixture models for multilevel data sets. Statistical Methods in Medical Research, 17, 33–51.

  69. Vermunt, J. K., & Magidson, J. (2005). Latent GOLD 4.5. Belmont, MA: Statistical Innovations Inc.

  70. Wentzel, K. R. (1996). Social and academic motivation in middle school: concurrent and long-term relations to academic effort. Journal of Early Adolescence, 16, 390–406.

  71. Wentzel, K. R. (1998). Social relationships and motivation in middle school: The role of parents, teachers, and peers. The Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 202–209.

  72. Wentzel, K. R. (2000). What is it that I’m trying to achieve? Classroom goals from a content perspective. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 105–115.

  73. Wolters, C. A., Yu, S. L., & Pintrich, P. R. (1996). The relation between goal orientation and students’ motivational beliefs and self-regulated learning. Learning and Individual Differences, 8, 211–238.

  74. Wormington, S. V., Corpus, J. H., & Anderson, K. G. (2011). A person-centered investigation of academic motivation, performance, and engagement in a high school setting. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA, April 2011.

  75. Zijsling, D., Keuning, J., Kuyper, H., Batenburg, Th. van, & Hemker, B. (2009). Cohortonderzoek COOL5-18. Technisch rapport eerste meting in het derde leerjaar van het voortgezet onderwijs [Cohort study COOL5-18. Technical report of the first wave in the \(9^{{\rm th}}\) grade of secondary education]. Groningen/Arnhem, the Netherlands: GION/Cito.

  76. Zusho, A., & Clayton, K. (2011). Culturalizing achievement goal theory and research. Educational Psychologist, 46, 239–260.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Hanke Korpershoek.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Korpershoek, H., Kuyper, H. & van der Werf, G. Differences in students’ school motivation: A latent class modelling approach. Soc Psychol Educ 18, 137–163 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-014-9274-6

Download citation

Keywords

  • School motivation
  • Achievement goal theory
  • Multiple goal perspective
  • Secondary education
  • Latent class modelling