Growth trajectories of self-concept and interest in mathematics and language – Individual differences and cross-domain relations

Anna Widlund*, Markku Niemivirta, Heta Tuominen, Johan Korhonen

*Tämän työn vastaava kirjoittaja

Tutkimustuotos: LehtiartikkeliArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu

10 Lataukset (Pure)


Motivational beliefs seem to decline for many during adolescence. Although this may reflect a mismatch between students' needs and the secondary schools' resources, general declines may also stem from increased dimensional comparison processes: students’ motivational beliefs tend to become increasingly domain-specific during adolescence. Yet, inter- and intraindividual differences in students' co-developmental processes of self-concept and interest across domains have rarely been studied.

This study examined what kinds of developmental trajectories of self-concept and interest in mathematics and L1 can be identified among adolescents across lower-secondary education, and whether trajectories and cross-domain relations differ between genders.

We followed 612 students across Grades 7–9 (13–15-year-olds).

Growth mixture models were applied to identify distinct motivational trajectories of math and L1 self-concept and interest across Grades 7–9. Multi-group growth models were used to compare growth trajectories and cross-domain relations between genders.

Students’ development in math and L1 motivation were rather homogenous across grades 7–9, and many experienced declines in their motivation after entering Grade 7. Yet, there was a clear differentiation across domains among girls: their L1 motivation was significantly higher than their math motivation. For both boys and girls, several negative cross-domain relations between math and L1 motivation were detected.

The findings should be considered when supporting students' motivation in schools. Dimensional comparisons coupled with gendered stereotypes may unnecessarily hinder some students from engaging in math and aspiring for math-related career alternatives, despite having high performance in math.
JulkaisuLearning and Instruction
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - kesäk. 2024
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Julkaistu artikkeli, soviteltu