Motivational profiles in mathematics – stability and links with educational and emotional outcomes

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Grounding on the situated expectancy-value theory, this study investigated stability and change in adolescent students' (N = 508) motivational profiles in mathematics (self-concept, values, costs) during the last year of comprehensive education, and how these changes relate to relevant educational outcomes (mathematics performance and aspirations) and students’ emotional distress (study-related exhaustion and depressive symptoms). Latent profile and latent transition analyses revealed four motivational profiles among students: Positively ambitious (high competence and value beliefs, low costs, T1: 34 %/T2: 32 %), Struggling ambitious (high competence and value beliefs, high costs, T1: 25 %/T2: 25 %), Indifferent (low competence and value beliefs, low costs, T1: 22 %/T2: 21 %), and Maladaptive (low competence and value beliefs, high costs, 19 %/22 %). Although some fluctuations were detected in profile memberships within the school year, most of the students (80 %) displayed stable mathematics motivation across ninth grade. Students who remained Positively ambitious also performed well, aspired for an education that required high mathematical skills, and experienced the least emotional distress, whereas students in the most negative motivational profile (Maladaptive) showed the opposite patterns. However, students who experienced high math-related costs, despite having positive value beliefs, performance, and aspirations (i.e., Struggling ambitious), also experienced one of the highest levels of study-related exhaustion and depressive symptoms. Elevated levels of exhaustion and depressive symptoms were systematically associated with negative motivational transitions in general (i.e., moving from Positively ambitious to Struggling ambitious, or from Indifferent to Maladaptive), highlighting the importance of reducing perceived study-related costs in schools and supporting students' well-being.

Antal sidor13
TidskriftContemporary Educational Psychology
StatusPublicerad - mars 2024
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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