Direction of causality: Examining causal relations between motivational goals, academic self-concept and academic achievement

Year: 2005

Author: Barker, Katrina, Dowson, Martin, McInerney, Dennis

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Research has been conducted on a) relations between academic self-concept and academic achievement, which is well established in the literature, however there remains disagreement about the causal ordering of these constructs b) relations between motivation and academic achievement which show moderate-to-strong correlations and c) relations between academic self-concept and motivational indicators which show strong correlations. Of the studies that combine self-concept and motivation, few examine motivation from a goal perspective. The generalised hypothesis attached to this investigation is that variables drawn from self-concept and goal theories taken together will provide a fuller explanation of academic achievement than is possible with either self-concept or motivational goal variables alone. Hence, the purpose of this study was to examine with a longitudinal perspective the relations between goal theory (mastery, performance and social), academic self-concept (maths and English) and academic achievement among seven-, eighth-, and ninth-grade students.