NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED519971
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 99
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-9397-4
Exploring Relationships between Student Achievement and the Intensity and Specificity of Individual Student Goals in Mathematics
Saunders, Melissa Ann
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
The application of goal theory in the classroom can be a link between the articulation of personal responsibility and adolescent academic performance. Consistent with goal theory, this research posits that adolescents who set intense and specific goals (i.e., high goal commitment) will have higher self-efficacy and higher achievement in the math classroom than those students who develop low intensity and vague goals. Research also suggests that student's tendencies to set goals oriented toward performance (e.g., obtaining a specific test score) versus mastery (e.g., understanding specific concepts) may be associated with self-efficacy and performance. This research considered three main questions: (1) Is there a correlation between the intensity and specificity of a student's goal (i.e., goal commitment) or students' affinities for performance-oriented or mastery-oriented goals and their self-efficacy in mathematics? (2) Are the intensity and specificity of students' goals related to their learning trajectories in mathematics in terms of initial performance and/or annual growth? (3) Are students' affinities for performance-oriented or mastery-oriented goals or their self-efficacy in mathematics related to their learning trajectories in mathematics in terms of initial performance and/or annual growth? Participants were 987 seventh- and eighth-grade students enrolled in a public middle school in Virginia. Three sources of data were collected: student mathematics achievement scores, student goal intensity and specificity ratings, and student goal orientation and self-efficacy. Positive correlations were found between students' goal orientations and self-efficacy, with a moderate correlation (r=0.30) between performance orientation and self-efficacy and a higher correlation (r=0.62) between mastery orientation and self-efficacy. Insignificant correlations were found between goal intensity and self-efficacy as well as between goal specificity and self-efficacy. Growth curve analysis using Hierarchical Linear Models (HLM) revealed a significant positive relationship between goal intensity and rate of growth in mathematics achievement. There was no significant relationship between goal specificity and achievement growth; however, reliability of the specificity measure was low. Performance orientation of goals was positively related to baseline achievement, but was unrelated to growth. Mastery orientation and self-efficacy were unrelated to both baseline achievement and growth. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A