Which mediates achievement: Social emotional competencies or motivational orientations?

Year: 2012

Author: Ee, Jessie

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


The development of students' social emotional competence (SEC) has recently received increasing attention because SEC is believed to positively influence motivation and learning outcomes. Grade Fourth students from two primary schools in Singapore (N=240) were surveyed on five SECs (self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, relationship management and responsible decision making) for their social-emotional maturity and three goal orientation variables (effort, ego, and work avoidance) for their motivation orientations.  Students' achievement scores for three core subjects (English Language, Mathematics, and Science) were provided by the schools. At a conceptually more general level, factor scores were generated for Social Emotional Maturity, Motivational Orientation, and Achievement, by way of a series of three factor analyses. The three factor scores were then used to ascertain the mediation effects of Social Emotional Maturity and Motivational Orientations when predicting Achievement. By comparison, Motivational Orientation has a greater probability of being a mediating variable. The implication for predicting students' achievement from their social emotional competence and the development of their motivational goals are discussed.