Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 137–163 | Cite as

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

  • Hanke KorpershoekEmail author
  • Hans Kuyper
  • Greetje van der Werf


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.


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


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanke Korpershoek
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hans Kuyper
    • 1
  • Greetje van der Werf
    • 1
  1. 1.GION—Institute for Educational ResearchUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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