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Task-motivation during the first school years: A person-oriented approach to longitudinal data


Learning and Instruction Volume 15, Number 2, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


The present study investigated the kinds of motivational patterns primary school students show in terms of the value they place on math, reading and writing, respectively, and the extent to which these patterns are prospectively associated with academic performance, and related to self-concept of ability. Two-hundred and eleven 6- to 7-year-old children were examined twice during Grade 1, and twice during Grade 2. On each measurement occasion, they were assessed on their performance in reading and math, and on their self-concept of ability and task-motivation in those skills. The clustering-by-states analysis for longitudinal data identified four groups of children: those who placed a high value on all three school subjects, i.e. math, writing and reading; those who valued math; those who showed low interest in math; and, those who showed a low interest in reading and writing. The results showed further that a decrease in math ability self-concept was associated with moving into a low math motivation group. Moreover, a decrease in reading ability self-concept was related to a move into a ‘High math motivation’ group. Children who were in the ‘Low math motivation’ group at Time 2 showed less progress in math performance than those in the other groups. The implications of the results for the development and modification of motivation in the school context is discussed.


Nurmi, J.E. & Aunola, K. (2005). Task-motivation during the first school years: A person-oriented approach to longitudinal data. Learning and Instruction, 15(2), 103-122. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved June 23, 2021 from .

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