Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 289–311 | Cite as

The Change in Middle School Students’ Achievement Goals in Mathematics Over Time

  • Michael J. Middleton
  • Avi Kaplan
  • Carol Midgley


Through the use of longitudinal survey data the change of achievement goal orientations was tested in a sample of middle school students in mathematics as they moved from sixth to seventh grade. Achievement goals include task goals and performance goals, with the partitioning of performance goals into approach and avoidance components. Results indicate that all goal orientations were moderately stable over time. Task goals in sixth grade positively predicted academic efficacy in seventh grade. Performance-approach goals in sixth grade positively predicted performance-avoid goals in seventh grade. Multiple regression and multi-sample analyses revealed that the path from performance-approach goals to performance-avoid goals was significant only among students reporting high academic efficacy before the transition. The results suggest that individuals who feel efficacious in math while endorsing a performance-approach goal orientation may be particularly vulnerable to adopting maladaptive performance-avoid goals over time and with change in circumstances.


Survey Data Middle School Education Research Achievement Goal Goal Orientation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Middleton
    • 1
  • Avi Kaplan
    • 2
  • Carol Midgley
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of EducationBen Gurion University of the NegevIsrael
  3. 3.Combined Program in Education and PsychologyUniversity of MichiganUSA

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