Skip to main content

Academic and Social Motivational Influences on Students' Academic Performance

Abstract

We discuss ways in which aspects of academic and social motivation interact to influence student's academic performance. Research on academic and social motivational constructs is reviewed, focusing on students' ability and efficacy beliefs, control beliefs, achievement values, and achievement goal orientations. Relations between academic and social motivational processes are discussed, as well as how motivational processes from both domains might interact to influence academic outcomes. We also discuss motivation from the perspective of contextual factors and school socialization processes that have the potential to influence student motivation and subsequent performance. In this regard, teachers' instructional practices and interpersonal relationships with students are highlighted as potentially powerful factors influencing student motivation and performance.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

REFERENCES

  1. Allen, J. D. (1986). Classroom management: Students' perspectives, goals, and strategies. Am. Educ. Res. J. 23: 437–459.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Ames, C. (1984). Competitive, cooperative, and individualistic goal structures: A cognitive-motivational analysis. In Ames, R. E., and Ames, C. (eds.), Research on motivation in education (Vol. 1), San Diego: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Ames, C. (1992). Classrooms: Goals, structures, and student motivation. J. Educ. Psychol. 84: 261–271.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Ames, C., and Ames, R. (1984). Systems of student and teacher motivation: Toward a qualitative definition. J. Educ. Psychol. 76: 478–487.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Anderman, E. M., and Maehr, M. L. (1994). Motivation and schooling in the middle grades. Rev. Educ. Res. 64: 287–309.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Anderman, E. M., and Young, A. J. (1994). Motivation and strategy use in science: Individual differences and classroom effects. J. Res. Sci. Teach. 31: 811–831.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Austin, J. T., and Vancouver, J. B. (1996). Goal constructs in psychology: Structure, process, and content. Psychol. Bull. 120: 338–375.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Bandura, A. (1997). Self efficacy: The exercise of control, New York: W. H. Freeman.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Blumenfeld, P. B. (1992). Classroom learning and motivation: Clarifying and expanding goal theory. J. Educ. Psychol. 84: 272–281.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Butler, R. (1993). Effects of task-and ego-achievement goals on information seeking during task engagement. J. Person. Soc. Psychol. 65: 18–31.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Boggiano, A. K., and Katz, P. (1991). Maladaptive achievement patterns in students: The role of teachers' controlling strategies. J. Soc. Issues 47: 35–51.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Bryk, A. S., and Raudenbush, S. W. (1992). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods, Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Connell, J. P. (1985). A new multidimensional measure of children's perception of control. Child Devel. 56: 1018–1041.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Connell, J. P., and Wellborn, J. G. (1991). Competence, autonomy, and relatedness: A motivational analysis of self system processes. In Gunnar, M. R., and Sroufe, L. A. (eds.), Self processes and development: The Minnesota symposia on child development (Vol. 23), Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, pp. 43–78.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Covington, M. V. (1992). Making the grade: A self-worth perspective on school reform, New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Deci, E. L., and Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self determination in human behavior, New York: Plenum Press.

    Google Scholar 

  18. DeCharms, R. (1984). Motivation enhancement in educational settings. In Ames, R., and Ames, C. (eds.), Research in motivation in education (Vol. 1), New York: Academic Press, pp. 275–310.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Dodge, K. A., Asher, S. R., and Parkhurst, J. T. (1989). Social life as a goal coordination task. In Ames, C., and Ames, R. (eds.), Research on motivation in education (Vol. 3), New York: Academic Press, pp. 107–138.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Duda, J. L., and Nicholls, J. G. (1992). Dimensions of achievement motivation in schoolwork and sport. J. Educ. Psychol. 84: 290–299.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Dweck, C. S., and Leggett, E. L. (1988). A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality. Psychol. Rev. 95: 256–273.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Eccles, J. (1993). School and family effects on the ontogeny of children's interests self perceptions, and activity choices. In Jacobs, J. (ed.), Developmental perspectives on motivation: Vol. 40 of the Nebraska symposium on motivation, Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, pp. 145–208.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Eccles, J. S., Adler, T. F., Futterman, R., Goff, S. B., Kaczala, C. M., Meece, J., and Midgley, C. (1983). Expectancies, values and academic behaviors. In Spence, J. T. (ed.), Achievement and achievement motives, San Francisco: W. H. Freeman.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Eccles, J. S., and Midgley, C. (1989). Stage-environment fit: Developmentally appropriate classrooms for young adolescents. In Ames, C., and Ames, R. (eds.), Research on motivation in education (Vol. 3), San Diego: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Eccles, J. S., and Wigfield, A. (1995). In the mind of the achiever: The structure of adolescents' academic achievement-related beliefs and self-perceptions. Person. and Soc. Psychol. Bull. 21: 215–225.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Eccles, J. S., Wigfeld, A., and Schiefele, U. (1998). The development of achievement motivation. In Eisenberg, N. (ed.), Handbook of child psychology (Vol. IV, 5th Ed.), New York: John Wiley, pp. 1017–1095.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Elliot, A. J., and Harackiewicz, J. M. (1996). Approach and avoidance achievement goals and intrinsic motivation: A mediational analysis. J. Person. Soc. Psychol. 70: 968–980.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Feldlaufer, H., Midgley, C., and Eccles, J. (1988). Student, teacher, and observer perceptions of the classroom before and after the transition to junior high school. J. Early Adolesc. 8: 133–156.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Felner, R. D., Aber, M. S., Primavera, J., and Cauce, A. M. (1985). Adaptation and vulnerability in high-risk adolescents: An examination of environmental mediators. Am. J. Commun. Psychol. 13: 365–379.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Findley, M. J., and Cooper, H. M. (1983). Locus of control and academic achievement: A literature review. J. Person. Soc. Psychol. 44: 419–427.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Ford, M. E. (1982). Social cognition and social competence in adolescence. Devel. Psychol. 18:323–340.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Ford, M. E. (1992). Motivating humans: Goals, emotions, and personal agency beliefs, Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Ford, M. E. (1996). Motivational opportunities and obstacles associated with social responsibility and caring behavior in school contexts. In Juvonen, J., and Wentzel, K. (eds.), Social motivation: Understanding children's school adjustment, New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 126–153.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Ford, M. E., and Tisak, M. S. (1983). A further search for social intelligence. J. Educ. Psychol. 75: 196–206.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Goodenow, C. (1993). Classroom belonging among early adolescents: Relationships to motivation and achievement. J. Early Adolesc. 13: 21–43.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Grolnick, W. S., and Ryan, R. M. (1987). Autonomy in children's learning: An experimental and individual difference investigation. J. Person. Soc. Psychol. 52: 890–898.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Guthrie, J. T., and Alao, S. (1997). Designing contexts to increase motivation for reading. Educ. Psychol. 32: 95–106.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Guthrie, J. T., Van Meter, P., McCann, A. D., Wigfield, A., Bennett, L., Poundstone, C. C., Rince, M. E., Faibisch, F. M., Hunt, B., and Mitchell, A. M. (1996). Growth of literacy engagement: Change in motivations and strategies during concept-oriented reading instruction. Read. Res. Quart. 31: 306–325.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Guthrie, J. T., Cox, K. E., Anderson, E., Harris, K., Mazzoni, S., and Rach, L. (1998). Integrated instruction principles. Educ. Psychol. Rev. 10: 177–199.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Hansen, S. L., and Ginsberg, A. L. (1988). Gaining ground: Values and high school success. Am. Educ. Res. J. 25: 334–365.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Harter, S. (1996). Teacher and classmate influences on scholastic motivation, self-esteem, and level of voice in adolescents. In Juvonen, J., and Wentzel, K. (eds.), Social motivation: Understanding children's school adjustment, New York: Cambridge, pp. 11–42.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Juvonen, J. (1996). Self-presentation tactics promoting teacher and peer approval: The function of excuses and other clever explanations. In Juvonen, J., and Wentzel, K. R., (eds.), Social motivation: Understanding children's school adjustment, New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 43–65.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Juvonen, J., and Wentzel, K. R. (1996). Social motivation: Understanding children's school adjustment. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Lepper, M. R., and Hodell, M. (1989). Intrinsic motivation in the classroom. In Ames, C., Ames, R. (eds.), Research on motivation in education: Vol. 3. Goals and cognitions, New York: Academic Press, pp. 73–106.

    Google Scholar 

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

    Google Scholar 

  46. Maehr, M. L., and Midgley, C. (1996). Transforming school cultures, Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Marjoribanks, K. (1985). Ecological correlates of adolescents' aspirations: Gender-related differences. Contemp. Educ. Psychol. 10: 329–341.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Marlowe, H. A. (1986). Social intelligence: Evidence for multidimensionality and construct independence. J. Educ. Psychol. 78: 52–58.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Meece, J. L., Wigfield, A., and Eccles, J. S. (1990). Predictors of math anxiety and its consequences for young adolescents' course enrollment intentions and performances in mathematics. J. Educ. Psychol. 82: 60–70.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Midgley, C., Feldlaufer, H., and Eccles, J. (1989). Student/teacher relations and attitudes toward mathematics before and after the transition to junior high school. Child Devel. 60: 981–992.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Nicholls, J. G. (1979). Quality and equality in intellectual development: The role of motivation in education. Am. Psychol. 34: 1071–1084.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Nicholls, J. G. (1984). Achievement motivation: Conceptions of ability, subjective experience, task choice, and performance. Psychol. Rev. 91: 328–346.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Nicholls, J. G., Cheung, P., Lauer, J., and Patashnick, M. (1989). Individual differences in academic motivation: Perceived ability, goals, beliefs, and values. Learn. Indiv. Diff. 1: 63–84.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Nolen, S. B., and Nicholls, J. G. (1993). Elementary school pupils' beliefs about practices for motivating students in mathematics. Brit. J. Educ. Psychol. 63: 414–430.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Ogbu, J. (1985). Cultural ecology of competence among inner-city blacks. In McAdoo, H., and McAdoo, J. (eds.), Black children's social, educational, and parent environments, Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Oldfather, P., and McLaughlin, J. (1993). Gaining and losing voice: A longitudinal study of students' continuing impulse to learn across elementary and middle school contexts. Res. Middle Level Educ. 17: 1–25.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Pajares, F. (1996). Self efficacy beliefs in academic settings. Rev. Educ. Res. 66: 543–578.

    Google Scholar 

  58. Pervin, L. A. (1983). The stasis and flow of behavior: Toward a theory of goals. In Page, M. M. (ed.), Personality: Current theory and research, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, pp. 1–53.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Phelan, P., Davidson, A. L., and Cao, H. T. (1991). Students' multiple worlds: Negotiating the boundaries of family, peer, and school cultures. Anthropol. Educ. Quart. 22: 224–250.

    Google Scholar 

  60. Pintrich, P. R., and DeGroot, E. (1990). Motivational and self-regulated learning components of classroom academic performance. J. Educ. Psychol. 82: 33–40.

    Google Scholar 

  61. Pintrich, P. R., and Schunk, D. H. (1996). Motivation in education: Theory, research, and applications, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  62. Rosenholtz, S. R., and Rosenholtz, S. J. (1981). Classroom organization and the perception of ability. Sociol. Educ. 54: 132–140.

    Google Scholar 

  63. Rosenholtz, S. J., and Simpson, C. (1984). The formation of ability conceptions: Developmental trend or social construction? Rev. Educ. Res. 54: 31–63.

    Google Scholar 

  64. Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychol. Monogr. 80: 1–28.

    Google Scholar 

  65. Schunk, D. H. (1991). Self efficacy and academic motivation. Educ. Psychol. 26: 207–231.

    Google Scholar 

  66. Schunk, D. H., Hanson, A. R., and Cox, P. D. (1987). Peer-model attributes and children's achievement behaviors. J. Educ. Psychol. 79: 54–61.

    Google Scholar 

  67. Skinner, E. A. (1995). Perceived control, motivation, and coping, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  68. Skinner, E. A., and Belmont, M. J. (1993). Motivation in the classroom: Reciprocal effects of teacher behavior and student engagement across the school year. J. Educ. Psychol. 85: 571–581.

    Google Scholar 

  69. Skinner, E. A., Chapman, M., and Baltes, P. B. (1988). Control, means-ends, and agency beliefs: A new conceptualization and its measurement during childhood. J. Person. Soc. Psychol. 54: 117–133.

    Google Scholar 

  70. Stipek, D. J. (1984). Young children's performance expectations: Logical analysis or wishful thinking? In Nicholls, J. G. (ed.), Advances in motivation and achievement (Vol. 3). The development of achievement motivation, Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

    Google Scholar 

  71. Stipek, D. J. (1996). Motivation and instruction. In Berliner, D. C., and Calfee, R. C. (eds.), Handbook of educational psychology, New York: Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  72. Stipek, D. J., and MacIver, D. (1989). Developmental change in children's assessment of intellectual competence. Child Devel. 60: 521–538.

    Google Scholar 

  73. Stipek, D. J., and Weisz, J. R. (1981). Perceived personal control and academic achievement. Rev. Educ. Res. 51: 101–137.

    Google Scholar 

  74. Thorkildsen, T. A., Nolen, S. B., and Fournier, J. (1994). What is fair? Children's critiques of practices that influence motivation. J. Educ. Psychol. 86: 475–486.

    Google Scholar 

  75. Weiner, B. (1985). An attributional theory of achievement motivation and emotion. Psychol. Rev. 92: 548–573.

    Google Scholar 

  76. Weinstein, R. S. (1989). Perceptions of classroom processes and student motivation: Children's views of self-fulfilling prophecies. In Ames, C., and Ames, R. (eds.), Research on motivation in education (Vol. 3), New York: Academic Press, pp. 187–222.

    Google Scholar 

  77. Wentzel, K. R. (1989). Adolescent classroom goals, standards for performance, and academic achievement: An interactionist perspective. J. Educ. Psychol. 81: 131–142.

    Google Scholar 

  78. Wentzel, K. R. (1991a). Relations between social competence and academic achievement in early adolescence. Child Devel. 62: 1066–1078.

    Google Scholar 

  79. Wentzel, K. R. (1991b). Social competence at school: The relation between social responsibility and academic achievement. Rev. Educ. Res. 61: 1–24.

    Google Scholar 

  80. Wentzel, K. R. (1992). Motivation and achievement in adolescence: A multiple goals perspective. In Mece, J., and Schunk, D. (eds.), Student perceptions in the classroom: Causes and consequences, Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, pp. 287–306.

    Google Scholar 

  81. Wentzel, K. R. (1993). Social and academic goals at school: Motivation and achievement in early adolescence. J. Early Adolesc. 13: 4–20.

    Google Scholar 

  82. Wentzel, K. R. (1994). Relations of social goal pursuit to social acceptance, classroom behavior, and perceived social support. J. Educ. Psychol. 86: 173–182.

    Google Scholar 

  83. Wentzel, K. R. (1995). Teachers Who Care: Implications for Student Motivation and Classroom Behavior. Final Report for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, QERI Fellows Program, Washington, DC.

  84. Wentzel, K. R. (1996a). Social and academic motivation in middle school: Concurrent and long-term relations to academic effort. J. Early Adolesc. 16: 390–406.

    Google Scholar 

  85. Wentzel, K. R. (1996b). Social goals and social relationships as motivators of school adjustment. In Juvonen, J., and Wentzel, K. (eds.), Social motivation: Understanding school adjustment, New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  86. Wentzel, K. R. (1997). Student motivation in middle school: The role of perceived pedagogical caring. J. Educ. Psychol. 89: 411–419.

    Google Scholar 

  87. Wentzel, K. R. (1997). Social-Motivational Processes and Interpersonal Relationships: Implications for Understanding Students' Academic Success. Unpublished manuscript, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

  88. Wigfield, A. (1994). Expectancy-value theory of achievement motivation: A developmental perspective. Educ. Psychol. Rev. 6: 49–78.

    Google Scholar 

  89. Wigfield, A. (1997). Reading motivation: A domain-specific approach to motivation. Educ. Psychol. 32: 59–68.

    Google Scholar 

  90. Wigfield, A., and Eccles, J. S. (1992). The development of achievement task values: A theoretical analysis. Devel. Rev. 12: 265–310.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wentzel, K.R., Wigfield, A. Academic and Social Motivational Influences on Students' Academic Performance. Educational Psychology Review 10, 155–175 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022137619834

Download citation

  • competence beliefs
  • achievement values
  • personal goals
  • social relationships