The Regulatory Capacities of Motivational Constructs: An examination of Academic Motivation and Self-Regulation Toward Academic Success in Favorite and Least Favorite Classes
One-hundred and seventy-seven high-school students and two-hundred responded to a survey assessing their motivation (goal orientations, expectancies, and values), self-regulation (cognitive, behavior, and emotion), learning processes, academic behaviors, and grades in the favorite and least favorite classes. First, multiple pathways to academic success were examined by comparing how motivation leads to academic outcomes (learning processes, academic behaviors, and grades) via self-regulation in high school and college by using structural equation modeling. As expected, the findings support the stance that there are different ways to achieve academic success. Surprisingly, emotion regulation mediated the relations between motivation and learning processes in favorite classes. Additionally, combinations of self-regulation were examined separately for type of class (favorite/least favorite) and age group (high school/college) using latent class analyses. As expected, these regulatory profiles mediated the relations between motivation and academic outcomes, found with structural equation modeling. Interestingly, students in the attention regulation profile, who were high on attention but low on other regulatory capacities, performed lower than those who tend to be high regulators. However, those who were members in the emotion regulator profile did not differ from high regulators. Behavior regulation was a mediator for college students but not high school students. The findings underscore the importance of considering cognitive, behavior, and emotion regulation in considering the relations between motivation to academic outcomes.
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