Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 411–430 | Cite as

American high school students from different ethnic backgrounds: the role of parents and the classroom in achievement motivation

Article

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between ethnically diverse US high school students’ (\(N = 331\)) perceptions of their parents’ or classroom’s motivating factors and their achievement motivation in their math class, connecting achievement goal orientation and self-determination theories. Two hypothesized path models were supported, in which the high school students’ goal orientations were predicted by their perceptions of either parental or classroom variables. The students’ academic self-regulated motivations mediated the relationships. An additional hypothesis was supported that students with different ethnic backgrounds (i.e., students of European, Asian, and Latino descent) differed in how their perceptions of their parents’ motivating variables were related to their own achievement motivations, but not the relationships between students’ self-regulated motivations and achievement goal orientations. Implications for achievement motivation of ethnically diverse high school students are discussed.

Keywords

Achievement motivation Achievement goal orientation   Self-determination theory Contextual factors Ethnic background 

References

  1. Ames, C. (1992). Classrooms: Goals, structures, and student motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 261–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chao, R. K. (1994). Beyond parental control and authoritarian parenting style: Understanding Chinese parenting through the cultural notion of training. Child Development, 65(4), 1111–1119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chirkov, V. I., & Ryan, R. M. (2001). Parent and teacher autonomy support in Russian and U.S. adolescents: Common effects on well-being and academic motivation. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 32(5), 618–635.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ciani, K. D., Sheldon, K. M., Hilpert, J. C., & Easter, M. A. (2011). Antecedents and trajectories of achievement goals: A self-determination theory perspective. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 223–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (Eds.). (2002). Handbook of self-determination research. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.Google Scholar
  6. Duchesne, S., & Ratelle, C. F. (2010). Parental behaviors and adolescents’ achievement goals at the beginning of middle school: Emotional problems as potential mediators. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(2), 497–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dweck, C. S. (1986). Motivational processes affecting learning. American Psychologist, 41, 1040–1048.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Elliot, A. J. (2005). A conceptual history of the achievement goal construct. In A. Elliot & C. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 52–72). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  9. Elliot, A. J., Chirkov, V. I., Kim, Y., & Sheldon, K. M. (2001). A cross-cultural analysis of avoidance (relative to approach) personal goals. Psychological Science, 12, 505–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 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(3), 461–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Elliot, A., & McGregor, H. (2001). A 2 x 2 achievement goal framework. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80(3), 501–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Elliot, A. J., McGregor, H. A., & Thrash, T. M. (2002). The need for competence. In E. L. Deci & R. M. Ryan (Eds.), Handbook of self-determination research (pp. 361–387). Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.Google Scholar
  13. Friedel, J. M., Cortina, K. S., Turner, J. C., & Midgley, C. (2007). Achievement goals, efficacy beliefs, and coping strategies in mathematics: The roles of perceived parent and teacher goal emphases. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 32(3), 434–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Friedel, J. M., Cortina, K. S., Turner, J. C., & Midgley, C. (2010). Efficacy beliefs in mathematics across the transition from 6th to 7th grade: The roles of personal and perceived achievement goals. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(1), 102–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fuligni, A. J. (1997). The academic achievement of adolescents from immigrant families: The roles of family background, attitudes, and behavior. Child Development, 68, 351–363.Google Scholar
  16. Fuligni, A. J., & Yoshikawa, H. (2004). Parental investments in children in immigrant families. In A. Kalil & T. DeLeire (Eds.), Parent investments in children: Resources and behaviors that promote success (pp. 139–161). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  17. 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(1), 53–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Grolnick, W. S., Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1997). Internalization within the family: The self-determination theory perspective. In J. E. Grusec & L. Kuczynski (Eds.), Parenting and children’s internalization of values: A handbook of contemporary theory (pp. 135–161). New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar
  19. Grolnick, W. S., & Ryan, R. M. (1989). Parent styles associated with children’s self-regulation and competence in school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 143–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hernandez, D. J., Denton, N. A., & Macartney, S. E. (2008). Children in immigrant families: Looking to America’s future. Social Policy Report, 22(3), 3–22.Google Scholar
  21. Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Iyengar, S. S., & Lepper, M. L. (1999). Rethinking the value of choice: A cultural perspective on intrinsic motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76(3), 349–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jang, H., Reeve, J., Ryan, R. M., & Kim, A. (2009). Can self-determination theory explain what underlies the productive, satisfying learning experiences of collectivistically-oriented South Korean adolescents? Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 644–661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Keys, T. D., Conley, A. M., Duncan, G. J., & Domina, T. (2012). The role of goal orientations for adolescent mathematics achievement. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 37, 47–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kim, J., Schallert, D. L., & Kim, M. (2010). An integrative cultural view of achievement motivation: Parental and classroom predictors of children’s goal orientations when learning math in Korea. Journal of Educational Psychology., 102(2), 418–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kim, U., & Choi, S. (1994). Individualism, collectivism, and child development: A Korean perspective. In P. M. Greenfield & R. R. Cocking (Eds.), Cross-cultural roots of minority child development (pp. 227–257). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  27. Kline, R. B. (2005). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (2nd ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  28. Maehr, M. L. (1974). Culture and Achievement motivation. American Psychologist, 29, 887–896.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Maehr, M. L., & Nicholls, J. G. (1980). Culture and achievement motivation: A second look. In N. Warren (Ed.), Studies in cross-cultural psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 221–267). New York, NY: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  30. McInerney, D. (2007). Personal investment, culture, and learning: Insights into the most salient influences on school achievement across cultural groups. In F. Salili & R. Hoosain (Eds.), Culture, motivation, and learning: A multicultural perspective (pp. 169–191). Greenwich, CT: Information Age.Google Scholar
  31. Midgley, C., Maehr, M. L., Hruda, L. Z., Anderman, E., Anderman, L., Freeman, K. E., ... Urdan, T. (2000). Manual for the patterns of adaptive learning scales (PALS). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  32. Muthén, L. K. & Muthén, B. O. (1998–2010). Mplus user’s guide (6th ed.) Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
  33. Park, Y.-S., & Kim, U. (2003). The influence of parent–child relationship on achievement motivation and academic achievement among Korean adolescents: Indigenous psychological analysis. Korean Journal of Youth Studies, 10, 139–165.Google Scholar
  34. Portes, A., & Rumbaut, R. G. (2001). Legacies: The story of the immigrant generation. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  35. Reeve, J., & Jang, H. (2006). What teachers say and do to support students’ autonomy during learning activities. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 209–218.Google Scholar
  36. Robbins, R. J. (1994). An assessment of perceptions of parental autonomy support and control: Child and parent correlates. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Rochester.Google Scholar
  37. Rohner, R. P., & Pettengill, S. M. (1985). Perceived parental acceptance-rejection and parental control among Korean adolescents. Child Development, 36, 524–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ryan, R. M., & Connell, J. P. (1989). Perceived locus of causality and internalization: Examining reasons for acting in two domains. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(5), 749–761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Standage, M., & Treasure, D. C. (2002). Relationship among achievement goal orientations and multidimensional situational motivation in physical education. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 72, 87–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Triandis, H. C. (1995). Individualism and collectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  41. Urdan, T. (2000, April). The intersection of self-determination and achievement goal theories: Do we need to have goals? Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.Google Scholar
  42. Urdan, T. (2012). Factors affecting the motivation and achievement of immigrant students. In K. R. Harris, S. Graham, T. Urdan, S. Graham, J. M. Royer, & M. Zeidner (Eds.), APA educational psychology handbook, Vol 2: Individual differences and cultural and contextual factors. APA handbooks in psychology (pp. 293–313). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  43. Urdan, T., & Mestas, M. (2006). The goals behind performance goals. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 354–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Witkow, M., & Fuligni, A. J. (2007). Achievement goals and the daily school experiences of adolescents from Latin American, Asian, and European backgrounds. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99, 584–596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wolters, C. A. (2004). Advancing achievement goal theory: Using goal structures and goal orientations to predict students’ motivation, cognition, and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96, 236–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Xiang, P., Lee, A., & Shen, J. (2001). Conceptions of ability and achievement goals in physical education: Comparisons of American and Chinese students. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 26, 348–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Zhou, N., Lam, S. F., & Chan, K. C. (2012). The Chinese classroom paradox: A cross-cultural comparison of teacher controlling behaviors. Journal of Educational Psychology., 104, 1162–1174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Zusho, A., & Clayton, K. (2011). Culturalizing achievement goal theory and research. Educational Psychologist, 46, 239–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zusho, A., & Pintrich, P. R. (2003). A process-oriented approach to culture: Theoretical and methodological issues in the study of culture and motivation. In F. Salili & R. Hoosain (Eds.), Teaching, learning, and motivation in a multicultural context (pp. 33–65). Greenwich, CT: Information Age.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program of Educational PsychologyUniversity of Colorado DenverDenverUSA

Personalised recommendations