Motivational beliefs, ethnic identity, and sense of belonging: Relations to school engagement and academic achievement
Students’ motivational beliefs, sense of belonging, and ethnic identity were examined in relation to effort, persistence, procrastination, school attendance, and academic achievement. A total of 589 seventh and eighth graders completed a self-report survey assessing motivational belief variables (academic self-efficacy; Midgley et al., 2000; value of academic success; Fuligni, Witkow, & Garcia, 2005; mastery-approach goal orientation; Midgley et al., 2000, mastery-avoidance goal orientation; Elliot & McGregor, 2001; performance-approach goal orientation and performance-avoidance goal orientation; Midgley et al., 2000), sense of belonging variables (acceptance, belonging, rejection; Hagborg, 1994; perception of teachers’ opinions), ethnic identity variables (affirmation, belonging, and commitment and exploration and behaviors; Roberts et al., 1999), and school engagement variables (effort, persistence, procrastination; Wolters, 2004; attendance). Results from the hierarchical multiple linear regressions indicated that feelings of rejection, the adoption of mastery-avoidance goal orientation, and the adoption of performance-avoidance goal orientation were negative predictors of effort and persistence. Perceptions of teachers’ opinions, academic self-efficacy, value of academic success, mastery-approach goal orientation, and performance-approach goal orientation were positive predictors of effort. Academic self-efficacy, value of academic success, and mastery-approach goal orientation were positive predictors of persistence. Rejection, mastery-avoidance goal orientation, performance-approach goal orientation, and performance-avoidance goal orientation were positive predictors of procrastination, while value of academic success and mastery-approach goal orientation were both negative predictors of procrastination. Belonging and value of academic success were positive predictors of attendance, while mastery-avoidance was a negative predictor. Academic self-efficacy and attendance were positive predictors of overall language arts averages, overall academic averages, and reading achievement scores. Value of academic success was a positive predictor of student overall academic averages and reading achievement scores. However, mastery-approach goal orientation was a negative predictor of each of the academic outcome variables. Persistence (positively) and procrastination (negatively) were also predictive of overall language arts averages and overall academic averages. Affirmation, belonging, and commitment was a positive predictor of reading achievement scores, yet performance-approach goal orientation was a negative predictor of reading achievement scores. These results offer practical implications for educators, illustrating the importance of academic self-efficacy and value of school success on effort, persistence, and academic achievement.