Trajectories of change in students’ self-concepts of ability and values in math and college major choice

Published on May 19, 2015in Educational Research and Evaluation
· DOI :10.1080/13803611.2015.1057161
Lauren E. Musu-Gillette4
Estimated H-index: 4
(UMD: University of Maryland, College Park),
Allan Wigfield62
Estimated H-index: 62
(UMD: University of Maryland, College Park)
+ 1 AuthorsJacquelynne S. Eccles112
Estimated H-index: 112
(UCI: University of California, Irvine)
This study extends previous research on the long-term connections between motivation constructs in expectancy-value theory and achievement outcomes. Using growth mixture modelling, we examined trajectories of change for 421 students from 4th grade through college in their self-concept of ability (SCA) in math, interest in math, and perceived importance of math. We also assessed how these trajectories relate to choice of college major, focusing on math-intensive and non-intensive majors. Gender, parental income, and initial achievement were included as covariates in the analyses. A 3-class solution best represented underlying trajectories of change for each of the 3 constructs. A latent class relatively high in math self-concept, interest, and importance emerged for each construct respectively, and individuals in these high classes were most likely to choose a math-intensive college major. Interpretations and implications of the trajectories of change and their influence on college major classification are...
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