Are autonomous and controlled motivations school-subjects-specific?

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Abstract

This research sought to test whether autonomous and controlled motivations are specific to school subjects or more general to the school context. In two cross-sectional studies, 252 elementary school children (43.7% male; mean age = 10.7 years, SD = 1.3 years) and 334 junior high school children (49.7% male, mean age = 14.07 years, SD = 1.01 years) were administered a questionnaire assessing their motivation for various school subjects. Results based on structural equation modeling using the correlated trait-correlated method minus one model (CTCM-1) showed that autonomous and controlled motivations assessed at the school subject level are not equally school-subject-specific. We found larger specificity effects for autonomous (intrinsic and identified) than for controlled (introjected and external) motivation. In both studies, results of factor loadings and the correlations with selfconcept and achievement demonstrated that more evidence of specificity was obtained for autonomous regulations than for controlled ones. These findings suggest a new understanding of the hierarchical and multidimensional academic structure of autonomous and controlled motivations and of the mechanisms involved in the development of types of regulations for school subjects. Copyright:

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Chanal, J., & Guay, F. (2015). Are autonomous and controlled motivations school-subjects-specific? PLoS ONE, 10(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0134660

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