Students' goals, academic self-concept and academic achievement: Testing competing models of causation

Year: 2007

Author: Barker, Katrina

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Studies reporting correlations between goals and self-concept are informative and heuristic, but their findings are based on a single wave of data, hence the underlying mechanisms responsible for the results remain unexplained. To address this void, this study tested competing structural equation models utilising longitudinal data from 535 high school students in Grades 7, 8, and 9 in the first wave of the study, to extrapolate the causal relations among self-concept, goal orientations, and academic achievement. The results reveal that self-concept is causally predominant over students' goals and academic achievement. Implications of these findings are discussed in terms of their impact on future theory, research, and practice.